Good start not enough to win
Waterford best in derby tie
Wexford Youths' dismal start to the season sees no sign of abating as they went under to their third defeat in the space of seven days, losing out to a more composed Waterford United side in this SSE Airtricity Division 1 clash in Ferrycarrig Park on Friday.
Waterford United 2 - Wexford Youths 1
Having lost their opening league game to newcomers Cabinteely United, they also went down to U.C.C. in their EA Sports Cup game on Tuesday. This second successive league defeat sees the Youths getting off to their worst possible start since their inception, with the defeat leaving them firmly rooted at the bottom of the table, having dropped all six points on offer.
Wexford Youths felt they had the potential to mount a serious league challenge, but this is not the start that manager Shane Keegan and his players would have wanted, point-less after two games. This leaves them with considerable ground to make up even at this early stage if they are to become serious promotion contenders.
If anything they played better football than at any stage this season, particularly through the opening 45 minutes, but they allowed the visiting Blues side to control the second period, so much so that the home team did not have one direct shot on goal through this period, which just about sums up the visitors' dominance.
Still without a number of key players, they worked extremely hard through the opening period, boosted by an early goal, but the visitors showed all the quality in a second-half which they controlled. Waterford were always the more likely side to collect the three points, which keeps them close to the top of the table, having taken four out of a possible six points.
Wexford Youths looked a side determined to put the previous week's poor display behind them as they attacked in numbers from the kick-off. Having forced a fifth-minute corner, Philip Drohan floated over an excellent ball that led to Danny Furlong beating his opposite number to head home from five metres, giving his side a tonic 1-0 lead.
But the home side were unable to build on this early breakthrough although Craig Wall and Furlong went close with a couple of efforts, while at the opposite end Jack Doherty brought a fine save out of home 'keeper Graham Doyle.
The visitors were back level in the 28th minute. Having forced a free-kick out on the left, Anthony McAlavey send a high ball into the area where Shane Dineen was allowed to rise unchallenged to powerfully head beyond the reach of 'keeper Doyle, making it 1-1 which was how it remained to the interval.
Surprisingly, the visitors took the initiative on the resumption as Glen Hawe and Brian Nolan gained a firm grip in midfield. They were building promising attacks down either flank, taking a deserved 70th-minute lead once again from a set-ball situation that the home side failed miserably to deal with.
Jack Doherty floated the ball to the right post where substitute Anthony O'Donnell, on the pitch just three minutes, forced the ball home as the home side's defenders stood ball-watching. The nearest the Youths came to rescuing a point was in the 90th minute when Gary Delaney had an effort cleared off the line for what turned out to be a fruitless corner kick.
Wexford Youths: Graham Doyle, Conor Whittle, Craig Comerford, Gary Delaney, Lee Grace, Johnny Bonner, Eric Molloy, Craig Wall (Peter Higgins, 85), Danny Furlong, Philip Drohan (Andy Mulligan, 62), Aidan Keenan. Subs. not used: James Dermody, Ryan Delaney, Craig McCabe, Seamus Houghton.
Waterford United: Matt Connor, Dylan Mernagh, Shaun Corcoran, Patrick Fitzgerald, Shane Dineen, Anthony McAlavey, Glen Hawe (Robert Birdsall, 85), Brian Nolan, Willie John Kirby, Jack Doherty, Seán Hurley (Anthony O'Donnell, 67). Subs. Not used: Mikie Rowe, Greg Peel, Thomas Croke, Cormac Breslin, Dean Reidy.
Referee: Adriano Reale.