Youths go down 2-0 to Cork City
Wexford Youths' dreams of a lengthy cup run vanished when Premier Division side Cork City struck for a goal towards the end of each half in this disappointing Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup second round game played at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday night.
Wexford Youth 0 Cork City 2
Cork City produced little in the way of quality football through the opening half hour being content to hold possession but showing little creativity up front. With the Youths playing five across midfield they managed to contain the visitors, limiting their shots on goal, but their attacking moments were left to quick counter attacks.
Clearly the Youths have their sights set on promotion from Division 1 for this was a depleted side they fielded against the visitors who themselves are chasing Premier Division leaders Dundalk lying in second place in the title race.
One sensed from the outset that the Youths were not going to end their cup drought given that they played with a defensive formation more in the way of containing their opponents and restricting the eventual final scoreline. Their restructured side lacked the ability to win and retain possession with the Cork side dictating the game everywhere but on the scoreboard much to the concern of their animated Manager on the touchline.
But the 393 attendance were disappointed with what they saw particularly from this highly rated Cork City outfit, who had Curracloe native, Kevin O'Connor, lining out at left back. Not long on their books, O'Connor has broken into the first team quite quickly, and one could see why, as he gave a solid defensive display, while he also looked composed moving forward.
City in their opening attack saw Karl Sheppard head over from a fine Billy Dennehy fourth minute cross. Both sides were struggling but the Youths gave the visitors a fright when Eric Molloy pulled a right footed cross across goal and wide after fourteen minutes, while three minutes later they should have scored. Conor English played a freekick into the area that Dan Murphy seemed to misjudge leaving Aidan Keenan with a clear shot on goal but he kept his effort too close to keeper McNulty from a few meters out who more than capably dealt with what was a weak finishing shot.
The visitors were looking quite sluggish in their play while the Youths looked comfortable in containing their opponents but still looking quite dangerous with their quick counter attacking football. But the all important goal opening goal arrived in the forty-sixth minute when Billy Dennehy having gained possession to the left edge of the area pulled a great left footed shot across keeper Doyle into the opposite corner of the net, making it 0-1 at the interval with his eighth goal of the season.
The lacklustre football continued through the opening stages of the second half with neither keeper been troubled until Eric Molloy had a fine fifty-eighth minute right footed shot well saved by McNulty.Neither side produced anything in the way of flowing football with City seemingly content to sit on their single goal lead until three minutes from the end when sub Mark O'Sullivan after his initial effort had been pushed away by keeper Doyle knocked the rebound into an unguarded net to make it 0-2.
While the Youths heads never bowed through the game, their lack of strength on the bench which contained only three outfield players saw them introduce just one sub, Philip Drohan late on, with the winger given little opportunity to impose himself on the game.
Now it's back to league against Shelbourne on Friday night next at Ferrycarrig Park, while on Tuesday night, June 9, they will have their re-arranged home league game with Athlone Town, who was abandoned a few weeks back owing to floodlights failure, when the homeside led 2-0.
To keep the pressure on league leaders Finn Harps, second placed Youths will be seeking six home points, which would delight home supporters.
Wexford Youths: Graham Doyle, Craig McCabe, Gary Delaney, Ryan Delaney, James Dermody, Peter Higgins, Andy Mulligan, Craig Wall, Conor English, Eric Molloy, Aiden Keenan (Philip Drohan 84).
Cork City: Mark McNulty, John Kavanagh, Darren Dennehy, Dan Murphy, Kevin O'Connor, Gavan Holohan (Liam Kearney 75), Colin Healy,Gary Buckley, John O'Flynn (Mark O'Sullivan 81), Karl Sheppard (Ross Gaynor 58), Billy Dennehy.
Referee: Graham Kelly (Cork).