Sunday 17 December 2017

League leaders can expect two challenging UCD tests

Brendan Furlong

Wexford Youths have been handed a most unlikely lifeline as they continue their push for promotion to top flight football.

Both of their main title challengers, Finn Harps and UCD, played out draws on Saturday evening, and with the Youths taking full points from Cobh Ramblers, it sends them four points clear of the Donegal outfit with a game in hand.

Now it has set up a huge clash with UCD at Ferrycarrig Park this Friday evening in what is their back fixture, but also setting up back-to-back games with the colleges side, whom they travel to play in Belfield on the following Friday evening.

The Youths will not entertain any thought of defeat in their showdown with the Colleges side who are now six points adrift of the leaders.

However they will be fully aware that back-to-back victories over the leaders would haul them right back into the title race, so for the Youths they must fashion at least a draw from this game.

What one has liked about the Youths over recent weeks is their ability to grind out victories even when games look like running away from them.

This has been helped in no small way by striker Danny Furlong, who is in the form of his life at the moment, with his two goal haul against Ramblers bringing his season's tally to 25, clear of second placed Ryan Swan, the UCD attacker being on eleven goals.

While home supporters are hailing the exploits of Furlong this will not have gone un-noticed on the UCD back four who no doubt will give the in form striker an amount of attention in this crucial clash which could go a long way towards the eventual destination of the league title.

Ferrycarrig Park is a difficult place for visiting teams to come at the moment. The players have shown a positive response to the pressure that leaders bring and right now they seem to have got to a place where they are determined to fashion out results.

The Youths have consistently refused to accept defeat even after falling behind. they had a remarkable late goal surge to take the three points off visiting Cabinteely while they also came from behind to take all three points away to neighbours Waterford.

While the neighbours were doing them a favour in Finn Park, holding second placed Finna Harps, to a 0-0 draw, the Youths responded after falling a goal behind with two Furlong strikes to deny visiting Cobh Ramblers.

Having forged their way to the top, the Youths now face into their biggest game of the season, so they deserve huge support.

A big home crowd would go a long way towards helping them deliver a victory and three points, thereby increasing their lead at the top of the table.

The sides remaining games are:

Friday, September 11: Home to UCD.

Friday, September 18: Away to UCD.

Friday, September 25: Home to Athlone Town.

Friday, October 9: Home to Shelbourne.

Saturday, October 17: Away to Finn Harps.

Wexford People

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