Saturday 25 November 2017

Wexford bide their time before taking derby spoils

Kilkenny 0 Wexford F.C. 4

Wexford Youths continued their bright start to the Continental Tyres Women's National League season with victory over a hungry but defensive Kilkenny outfit on a poor Watershed pitch recently.

The Ferrycarrig Park side left it late to deservedly take the points against Galway in their opening fixture and had to bide their time again as Kilkenny came out determined to show improvement from recent hammerings at the hands of their south-east rivals.

On a partially relaid pitch, that somewhat levelled the playing field, Wexford made three changes to the side which opened their campaign three weeks earlier. Out went Jenny O'Keeffe (illness), Kylie Murphy (injury protection) and Rachel Hutchinson (tactical), with Amy Walsh, Becky Cassin and Orla Casey all coming into the line-up.

Yet the system remained the same as fledgling boss Laura Heffernan sensibly kept one eye on a packed fixture list in the next month.

Wexford dominated the opening half hour with their opponents keen to go long. Orla Casey saw an early header saved by home stopper Trish Fennelly, and O'Riordan fired over from the excellent Emma Hansberry's through ball as Youths created chances.

After riding their luck at the other end, Kilkenny had ten good minutes before the interval. Still, they didn't create any clearcut chance and failed to test Sophie Lenehan in the visiting goal. The closest they came was when they fizzed a free-kick over from the edge of the area.

The latter stages of the first-half clearly didn't impress Youths management as they made two changes, bringing Kylie Murphy and Siobhán Doolan into the action. Both went on to have excellent halves of football, with the former netting twice and the latter giving Kilkenny kittens with her propensity for cutting inside.

Within seconds of the re-start Wexford started to create chances and the intensity levels were up. Soon the visitors took the lead when Hansberry's corner found its way to Gleeson at the back post, and she squared for Claire O'Riordan to fire home her second of the season.

Kilkenny didn't have time to re-group before they were quickly two down.

Again Hansberry was provider, centring a free-kick that Murphy nodded past Fennelly. The experienced Sylvia Gee narrowly missed out with a long-range strike but otherwise the Wexford back four and goalkeeper remained untroubled.

It was neither a surprise that Wexford added a third, nor that it was O'Riordan who registered it in the 78th minute. Again Hansberry played the role of provider for the goal with more great work on the left.

While a talented lone striker in this Youths formation will get plenty of goals, she will also be vital in assisting and O'Riordan did that too when setting up Murphy's second, and her side's fourth, with nine minutes remaining.

Wexford had further chances to add to their tally but four was easily enough.

Wexford Youths: Sophie Lenehan; Linda Douglas, Nicola Sinnott, Orlaith Conlon (capt.), Amy Walsh; Becky Cassin, Jessica Gleeson; Aoibhín Webb, Orla Casey, Emma Hansberry; Claire O'Riordan. Subs. - Kylie Murphy for Casey, Siobhán Doolan for Webb, Ally O'Keeffe for Walsh, also Amy Wilson, Chelsee Snell, Rachel Hutchinson.

Kilkenny: Trish Fennelly; Michaela Farrell, Cliodhna Ní Shé, Sylvia Gee, Bethany Carroll, Leanne Tumelty, Ciara Delaney, Sarah O'Donoghue, Becky Conroy, Bronagh Kane, Emma Boyle. Subs. - Leanne Payne for Kane, also Megan Butler, Shianne Swarres, Aislinn Carroll, Nicola Dwyer, Lizzy Buckley, Niamh Kelly.

Referee: James Nolan.

Wexford People

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