Sunday 20 October 2019

Enniscorthy riding high after seeing off Stoney



CENTRE-FORWARD Billy Miller with his secondhalf strike left Enniscorthy United riding high in the top half of the table as they eventually went on to withstand a late Stoney Rovers onslaught to collect all three points from this Wexford Football League Division 2 clash in Horestown on Sunday last.

Miller has proved a consistent goalscorer this season, with this latest outcome giving his side back-to-back victories, having won 4-0 seven days earlier. The winning run has helped to lay down a real promotion challenge, while for Stoney Rovers they are gradually slipping back towards the relegation zone.

Enniscorthy United deserved the three points. They were the more composed side, their passing being faster and more accurate, and with Miller in dazzling form up front they gave the home side's back four a really torrid test. Luckily they only conceded three goals, but this can be attributed to some strong tackling, and the safe hands of 'keeper Collie Byrne.

Both sides were finding the conditions difficult through the opening 15 minutes, as the rain fell heavily, but after much goalmouth incident the opening breakthrough arrived in the 16th minute. The Enniscorthy boys built a strong attack down the centre which eventually saw Miller being brought to ground, leaving Tom Kenny to neatly tuck the resulting penalty low to the right-hand corner of the net past 'keeper Byrne who was left helpless.

The home side looked quite threatening in a number of counter-attacks, with Anton Stafford and Nigel Kehoe being particularly prominent. But there was little they could do when the visitors added a second in the 28th minute. It was Miller who got on the end of a neat move, but saw his initial shot rebound off the upright, only to react quickest to knock the loose ball over the line, leaving his side sitting pretty with a 2-0 lead.

Stoney Rovers looked somewhat anxious through this spell as they came under almost continuous pressure. They managed to briefly lift the siege on the half hour, only for Nigel Kehoe to have his shot for goal blocked away for a fruitless corner.

Eight minutes before the break the home side were given an opportunity to haul themselves back into the game. James Colfer was knocked over under a high ball, leaving Stevie Bennett to confidently stroke home the resulting penalty and making it 1-2 at the interval.

Both sides began to master the heavy conditions, with Tom Kenny seeing his shot go off the corner of the crossbar and over for a goal kick, while at the opposite end, John Doyle and Anton Stafford had shots beaten away to safety, with the third goal eventually arriving in the 68th minute. Miller won a ball in midfield, went on a mazy run, and held off several defenders before cutting in from the left edge of the area to power in a shot that 'keeper Byrne could only help on its way to the net, leaving it 1-3.

It was Stoney Rovers' turn to do most of the pressing through the closing 15 minutes. Seven minutes from the end Anton Stafford stroked home a superb shot from just outside the area, but despite applying intense pressure through the closing minutes they were unable to fashion an equaliser. The nearest they came was when Nigel Kehoe powered a low ball across the face of the goal but there was no one to apply the simple tap-in.

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