Under-17s slip to sixth place

Cabinteely 4 Wexford F.C. 0

Dean Goodison

Wexford F.C. started the second half of their SSE Airtricity League Under-17 Southern Elite section season with a thumping loss at the hands of hosts Cabinteely in Stradbrook on Saturday.

Derek O'Brien's side sat in fifth spot in the table at the midpoint of the season after a promising run in the last few weeks, but they ran into a south Dublin side in superb form and really couldn't handle it.

The hosts played in a modified 3-5-2 formation and Wexford struggled to get a look in.

Cabinteely put an emphasis on attacking down the flanks but it wasn't just the two wing-backs doing the damage.

What was particularly impressive about the hosts was the workrate of their two attackers. Kian Bolger, in particular, proved extremely difficult to tame, with his clever runs to the flanks dragging defenders out of position and creating plenty of opportunities.

Wexford made changes, forced and tactical, to their team which beat U.C.D. last time out, with Adham Masood, promoted to the Under-19s, the big loss. However, the eleven didn't gel well either and they could never match their hosts' intensity.

The first, and only, real Wexford attack in the opening 30 minutes saw Liam Berry squeeze the ball out to Ciarán Paige on the left. He tried to hook it back but it collided with a Cabinteely hand. While the arm was away from the body it was completely unintentional and was never a penalty.

Cabinteely then battered their guests. Jack Maguire's cross from the wing was headed wide by Evan Caulfield and then, in the twelfth minute, Kian Bolger got to the byline on the left and crossed to the back post. Clayton Walsh crashed off the post but Vilius Kabutis was on hand to control and net.

The hosts peppered the Wexford box with quality crosses and Walsh, in particular, missed several chances to double his side's lead. However, the second goal did come in the 30th minute when Caulfield controlled Bolger's ball into the box and smacked a volley past Colum Feeney.

Wexford actually created a great chance three minutes later. Jack Gallagher got a deflected shot away that the 'keeper saved. The rebound fell to Liam Berry and with the goal seemingly gaping his shot was somehow scraped off the line by Peter Quinlan.

At the other end Feeney made a double save from Bolger and Walsh but there was nothing the Wexford goalkeeper could do to deny Walsh when he pulled off at the back post and sent a thunderous volley from Bolger's cross to the net.

Three down at the interval, Wexford's hopes looked forlorn. Cabinteely probed for a fourth and it duly arrived in the 56th minute when Labutis recycled a ball back into the penalty area and Zak O'Neill nonchalantly volleyed with the outside of his boot past Feeney.

Chances started to dry up for the hosts, although Wexford did live dangerously on the counter. The Ferrycarrig Park side enjoyed far more possession but only created one more decent chance.

It came with eleven minutes remaining. Liam Berry took a kick and was down but referee Eddie Reilly played a good advantage. Craig O'Reilly picked up possession and slipped in Kian Kerr on the left, but the substitute's shot few across the face of goal and wide.

Wexford slip to sixth in the table after this loss but are still ahead of Cabinteely. They return to action with a home game at Ferrycarrig Park against Cobh Ramblers on Saturday (2 p.m.).

Wexford F.C.: Colum Feeney; Jack Gallagher, Paddy Barron, Reece Murphy, Cian Foley; Craig O'Reilly, Caellum Travers-Devlin; James Esser, Ciarán Paige, Brandon Deady; Liam Berry (capt.). Subs. - Oscar Smith for Esser (56), Kian Kerr for Foley (76), also Kyle Kennedy, Nathan O'Connor.

Cabinteely: Peter Quinlan; Andrew Egan, Evan Caulfield (capt.), Mark Soper; Eoin Massey, Zak O'Neill, Dylan Bermingham, Vilius Labutis, Jack Maguire; Clayton O'Neill, Kian Bolger. Subs. - Cian Kelly for Soper (70), Niall Barr for Walsh (73), Lewis O'Neill for Maguire (76), Joyce Tzumbo for Bermingham (80), Andy Byrne for Labutis (80), also Jack Kelly.

Referee: Eddie Reilly (Dublin).

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