Tuesday 23 January 2018

Defensive errors punished

Dave Devereux

Adam Rochford of Wexford Youths is challenged by Limerick's Clyde O'Connell
Adam Rochford of Wexford Youths is challenged by Limerick's Clyde O'Connell

Defensive frailties cost Wexford Youths dearly as Limerick FC ran out convincing winners in their SSE Airtricity League Under-19 Southern Elite Division game at Ferrycarrig Park on Saturday.

Wexford Youths 1 Limerick FC 5

The Youths always looked vulnerable from set-pieces and a powerful Limerick side took full advantage, with two of their goals coming from corner-kicks.

The first goal came in the 28th minute, when Jack Lynch ran into space on the near post and powerfully headed home a Seán McSweeney corner and when the lively Keith Mawdsley pounced on a defensive mistake to make it 2-0 before the interval it really was an uphill struggle for Billy Molloy's men.

The warning signs were there from an early stage, with Seán McSweeney heading over a Declan Cusack corner in the ninth minute and moments later Dan Brennan recovered after his initial mistake to make a goal-saving tackle to deny Jack Lynch.

The visitors went within a hair's breath of opening the scoring in the 14th minute when Yousef Mahdy ghosted in to get on the end of a Killian Brouder cross from the left wing, but his header rattled the crossbar.

Wexford Youths were showing glimpses of their ability with some neat approach play, but on a few occasions the final ball was cut out by some good defending from the Limerick rearguard.

Limerick, however, were carving the Wexford defence open and Youths goalkeeper Adam Dunbar was forced into a fine double save to deny the Shannonsiders on 21 minutes.

Keith Mawdsley ran on to a long punt forward from Limerick netminder Carl Williams but Dunbar did well to save the shot and got up quickly to smother the rebound.

Wexford briefly threatened in the 27th minute when Ivan Meegan's superbly-flighted free-kick was deflected behind for a corner, but within 60 seconds the hosts were behind, with Jack Lynch heading home Seán McSweeney's corner.

Limerick almost repeated the trick within three minutes, with Killian Brouder's glancing header from a McSweeney corner just off target.

The hard-working Adam Rochford had a sniff of a chance on 33 minutes but his left-footed shot was well blocked by the Limerick defence.

However, Limerick ended the half on a high when Keith Mawdsley was allowed to wriggle his way clear and slide the ball into the net in the 42nd minute and they could have been even further ahead at the interval, but Seán McSweeney's looping header drifted wide of the left upright.

It was imperative for Wexford that they began the second-half brightly, but unfortunately it was Limerick that raced out of the traps.

Within two minutes of the restart Keith Mawdsley stung the fingertips of goalkeeper Dunbar to earn a corner, and when Declan Cusack swung in the ball Mawdsley planted a firm header to the back of the net.

Four minutes later it was 4-0 and game over when Patrick Kieran McDonagh tapped a teasing Mawdsley cross into the net.

Killian Brouder added a fifth in the 85th minute when his effort deflected in, but within 60 seconds Wexford Youths salvaged a bit of pride when Vincent Quinlan knocked the ball into the net after a shot from substitute Craig Hayes had been saved.

The Youths could have added another with a minute remaining, when Ivan Meegan slid the ball into Adam Rochford's path, but his effort was blocked by Carl Williams in the Limerick goal.

Wexford Youths: Adam Dunbar, Paul Carton, Eric Quinn, Dan Brennan, Conor Sutton, Owen McCormack, Vincent Quinlan, Neil Murphy, Adam Rochford, Eoin Donnelly, Ivan Meegan. Subs. - Craig Hayes for Donnelly (46), Jack Brazzill for Quinn (56), Eddie Black for Murphy (56), David Doyle for Brennan (60).

Limerick FC: Carl Williams, Shane Lowth, Alan Murphy, Barry Cotter, Killian Brouder, Jack Lynch, Seán McSweeney, Declan Cusack, Keith Mawdsley, Yousef Mahdy, Patrick Kieran McDonagh. Subs. - Liam McCartan for Lowth (54), Clyde O'Connell for Cotter (54), Jack Callaghan for Murphy (61), William Fitzgerald for Cusack (69).

Referee: Jimmy O'Neill.

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