Waterford gain revenge
WEXFORD YOUTHS got a taste of their own medicine in the RSC on Friday evening last as they slumped to a thumping loss against local rivals Waterford United.
Redemption was so sweet for the home side as they turned around the 6-0 opening day defeat without much of a whimper from a lack-lustre and lazy Wexford side.
It really wasn't a good performance from Youths. So often in sport the team that wants it more wins it, especially when there is little difference in quality between the sides, and it was clear which team really wanted this win.
There was little pressure on the ball, the defending was sloppy, attacking play was insipid and the urgency - especially when behind - was non-existent. All that said, it was one bad performance in what has been a successful season away from Ferrycarrig Park so far.
Youths lined up much like their last few away outings with Tom Elmes leading an attacking formation that saw him joined by Dean Broaders, Danny Furlong and Aidan Keenan when the opportunity arose. Those opportunities were fleeting the longer the game wore on but the early exchanges were fairly even.
Broaders had a powerful effort batted away by former Wexford Youths 'keeper Packie Holden in the opening minute. while at the other end Graham Doyle just held on from Seán Maguire.
Keenan and Furlong both saw shots well held by Holden but the even start was soon to turn into oneway traffic after Waterford took the lead.
Nobody covered themselves in glory in what was a sloppy opener. Shane Dempsey - another to have played for both sides - hit a woeful backwards pass that went straight to Seán Maguire, and the forward jinked outside, then in, before firing a 20-yard shot to the bottom-right corner of Doyle's net.
The hosts should have gone two up when Darragh Walshe headed Maguire's cross over the crossbar from eight yards, but the sizeable home crowd weren't waiting long for a second goal.
This time the threat came from the left and Paul Phelan breaking behind the visitors' defence. He reversed to Walshe who dinked an effort to the roof of the net from 12 yards.
Wexford needed a positive start to the secondhalf. However, they didn't get it and quickly fell three behind.
It was more poor defending, this time from a corner, as Gary Dempsey's centre came all the way to Maguire at the back post and he stabbed home his second from close range.
In truth, there was no backlash from Wexford, no upping of tempo, and if another goal was going to come it was Waterford who looked the more likely scorers.
Indeed, with the game drawing to a close Peter White got down to the left by-line and pulled it back to Phelan who side-footed home the fourth to complete the rout.
Shane Dempsey compounded his side's misery in injury time - getting sent off for a petulant tackle on the left wing - to leave Wexford Youths licking their wounds ahead of a home tie with SD Galway on Friday night.
The visitors occupy second-last position in the table with a mere three points from eight outings, having lost to Athlone Town on Friday last. Youths lie in third position with 13 points, six behind leaders Longford Town and five behind Limerick FC.