Under-17 side ensures narrow loss in local derby
Wexford Youths slipped to a narrow defeat against high-flying Waterford in their latest outing in the SSE Airtricity Under-17 League Southern Elite Section in Bunclody recently.
Wexford Youths 1 Waterford United 2
Garrett Larkin's young side have been putting in strong performances against teams in good form and this was no different. Waterford are flying high in the table, in a position to nab a spot in the season-ending cup with four games to go.
Wexford, on the other hand, are building for next season, but also keeping one eye on their form as they close in on the end of the regular campaign and the start of the shield competition.
It proved to be a really entertaining game between two sides intent on playing attacking football. The possession stats might have been even enough but the better chances certainly fell to the home side.
Cian Doyle had a fantastic chance in the first-half that the goalkeeper brilliantly prevented from rippling the net. Paddy Barron hit the target only for Jack Dolan to save, while the Waterford stopper also did an excellent job to deny Adham Masoud in a one-on-one situation.
At the other end, Adam Dempsey had fewer worries as the sides went in at the interval deadlocked at 0-0. The status quo continued after the resumption with Cian Doyle again denied.
It's no exaggeration to say that Youths could have been a couple of goals up when Waterford finally found the opener with a little over 15 minutes remaining. When Adam Dempsey took down Jack Larkin, the Youths 'keeper was sent-off, and his replacement Ciarán Sheil was then beaten by Justin Croke's penalty.
Things got worse for the home side when substitute goalkeeper Eoin Power came on up front and made it 2-0 with five minutes remaining. Youths kept pressing and immediately went down the other end and pulled one back through Danny Doyle.
Wexford bombarded the United goal for the remaining minutes. They forced several corners in a row, hit the woodwork and forced Jack Dolan into more heroic goalkeeping, but they couldn't find the goal to earn them a deserved point.
Wexford Youths: Adam Dempsey (capt.); Kallum Broaders, Paddy Barron, Cian Foley, Jack Bates; Kyle Kennedy, Cian Doyle, Mikey Carroll, Stephen Kearns; Adham Masoud, Danny Doyle. Subs. - Ciarán Sheil for Dempsey, Liam Berry for Kearns, Craig O'Reilly for C. Doyle, Cian Larkin for Bates, also Sam O'Neill.
Waterford United: Jack Dolan; Dean Beresford, Ryan Hollick, Samuel Hickey, Daryl Walsh, Shane Griffin, Adam Feeney, Seán Roche (capt.), Colm Whelan, Jack Larkin, Cian Flanagan. Subs. - Seán Martin, Elvis Azah, Justin Croke, Adam Conway, Eoin Power.
Referee: Brian Fenlon.