Frawley's goal sinks Cork City
Soccer: Wexford Youths 1 Cork City FC 0
Aisling Frawley tapped home a low Orla Casey cross to the back post to give Wexford Youths their third victory in four Continental Tyres Women's National League games at Ferrycarrig Park on Saturday evening.
The winger's fourth minute strike proved to be enough for the hosts to pick up a crucial three points and condemn their opponents - who were without injured star forward Clare Shine - to their third loss of the league season so far.
In truth, it was another tough slog for the Youths. Very little came easy for the hosts with Cork's mix of average and extremely talented players difficult to get a grip against, particularly in the hotly contested middle of the field.
However, Wexford once again defended superbly and limited Cork to very little in the way clear cut chances.
At the other end Youths probably didn't have as much of the ball in deep areas but when they found their way into the final third the champions looked far more dangerous.
If Wexford are going to win their fourth league title in five seasons, they really need to keep the triangle of Edel Kennedy, Lauren Dwyer and Orlaith Conlon fit and healthy. Once again that was Youths strongest segment on the field, with the trio keeping Saoirse Noonan and teammates quiet for most of the ninety minutes.
While they scored with their second attack, Wexford should have already been ahead. When Frawley slipped Claire O'Riordan in on the right side of goal, the Limerick native was in on Amanda Budden but she stretched for her shot and couldn't get enough on it to beat the City 'keeper.
Aoibhín Webb and O'Riordan were involved in the build up to the opener two minutes later.
It was the latter that sprung Casey on the left, her ball across goal was intelligent and composed for Frawley to side-foot home.
Youngster Casey drew the short straw of coming up against former Glasgow City midfielder Savannah McCarthy. It was a difficult task against Cork's best player but she never gave up and the fact that the telling moment of the game was her assist, not anything that McCarthy did, should give her a huge confidence boost going forward.
Sophie Lenehan did well to tip Saoirse Noonan's free-kick onto the crossbar and over in the eighth minute. At the other end, Cork survived a close offside call when Kylie Murphy headed an Amy Walsh free-kick to the net.
The visitors were feeling hard done by in the 27th minute when a ball over the top got Christina Dring in between defence and 'keeper. Lenehan came out and the Cork winger knocked the ball past her and went to the ground.
It was a big moment and Michelle O'Neill was unmoved. It was a tricky one, the Wexford 'keeper missed the ball but didn't initiate contact with the attacker, it could be argued that she 'impeded the progress of an opponent' but it was far from clear-cut and if unsure the official is correct to not blow.
Kylie Murphy forced Budden to tip a long-range shot over the crossbar in the 36th minute.
From the resulting Webb corner the ball eventually found its way to Walsh but she couldn't beat the Cork 'stopper either.
Just before the interval Wexford created another fantastic chance. O'Riordan and Frawley linked up on the right before the winger pulled back across the box from the byline. The ball landed at the feet of O'Riordan but her shot from near the penalty spot wasn't pure and was deflected behind.
After a quiet start to the second half Youths introduced Rianna Jarrett. Only on the field a few minutes she volleyed wide when picked out by Frawley after Orla Casey had released her down the right again. Moments later Lenehan was forced into action to tip over a Noonan strike from the edge of the area.
A tackle won on McCarthy by Murphy gifted Casey with possession in the 66th minute, her ball slipped Frawley away again, this time the Waterford native lifted over the onrushing Budden but wide of the post.
Cork were almost certain to create one chance and it came in the 77th minute. Eadaoin Lyons directed a header over the Wexford defence, into the path of Dring, the winger looked certain to score but scuffed her shot and it bobbled away to safety.
From that moment on Cork created nothing of note and Wexford were reasonably comfortable. Indeed, an O'Riordan header from a Walsh corner that flew over the bar was as close as either side came in the last ten minutes.
These teams will renew rivalries when they meet in the Continental Tyres Women's National League Cup in Bishopstown on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Then it's back to league action six days later when Wexford visit UCD Waves.
WEXFORD YOUTHS: Sophie Lenehan; Nicola Sinnott, Lauren Dwyer, Orlaith Conlon, Amy Walsh; Edel Kennedy, Kylie Murphy (capt.); Aisling Frawley, Orla Casey, Aoibhín Webb; Claire O'Riordan. Subs. - Rianna Jarrett for Webb (55), Becky Cassin for Casey (74), Becky Conroy for Frawley (83), also, Ciamh Dollard, Cliodhna Ní She, Katrina Parrock, Ciara Delaney.
CORK CITY: Amanda Budden; Danielle Burke, Maggie Duncliffe, Ciara McNamara (capt.), Natalie O'Brien; Danielle Sheehy, Savannah McCarthy; Eadaoin Lyons, Saoirse Noonan, Christina Dring; Michelle O'Driscoll. Subs. - Kate O'Donovan for O'Driscoll (82), Hannah O'Donoghue for Lyons (85), Courtney O'Keeffe for Duncliffe (85), also, Mary Barrett, Eve Badana, Clare Shine.
REFEREE: Michelle O'Neill (Wexford).