Young guns crushed in cup
Wexford F.C. 0 Cork City 5
It has not been a good season for the Wexford F.C. Under-19s, sitting bottom of the league, but in general they have been competitive. This Enda McGuill Cup tie in Ferrycarrig Park against Cork on Tuesday was anything but though, as they were absolutely terrible.
Manager Tom O'Connor talked in the club's preview of the game about his side being unbeaten in Ferrycarrig Park all season. This was only their second competitive game there though, their first in almost four months - that 'record' didn't last long after it had been flagged up.
You can see the thought process, find something for the lads to hold on to, give them a little more purpose, but this was a disaster. Wexford actually drew with City down in Bishopstown earlier in the season but didn't create as much as one decent chance in this game.
All over the field they were second best, looked completely devoid of confidence and made no impression on the visitors. Their set-up was bordering on bizarre, with four players high up the field when in defensive possession, leaving the hosts short in midfield.
The gap between the centre-midfield duo, Robbie Kane and Vinny Quinlan, and the four attackers, proved insurmountable with the only real option left to go long and look to win second balls. They didn't even do that well.
An early flash-point probably summed up what was to follow. Referee Seán Grant gave a free-kick to Cork even though Dylan Bradley was clipped breaking into the left channel in the opening minute.
Despite multiple requests for an explanation, none were forthcoming, probably because there wasn't one.
The game hadn't even settled into a pattern in the ninth minute when Pierce Phillips and Cian Leonard cut Wexford open with a simple one-two that allowed the former to open the scoring.
After Adham Masood had an effort easily saved by the Cork 'keeper, the game went dead. Late in the half Jordan O'Regan fired over for the Leesiders and Leonard tested McGuire with a low drive. At the other end Masood overcooked a free-kick in a promising position on the right after Bradley was dragged back.
Two Wexford substitutions at the break didn't bring the desired improvement. Within 30 seconds O'Regan snapped a sharp volley from Denzil Fernandes' cross past McGuire to the net. Six minutes later O'Regan had way too much time in the box and fired home his second.
The Cork wideman almost grabbed his hat-trick in the 62nd minute when he fired narrowly wide. He did net his third ten minutes from the end with a clinically-taken penalty after Cian Murphy was clearly pulled back in the box.
Rarely will a player score four times in a half at this level but that's exactly what O'Regan did, drilling home a rocket from 25 yards out in the 90th minute to complete a disastrous evening for Wexford.
The sides met again in the league at Ferrycarrig Park just five days later, with the same outcome.
Wexford F.C.: Jason McGuire; Jack Gallagher, Neil Murphy, Owen McCormack, Jack Bates; Eoin Curran, Robbie Kane, Vinny Quinlan (capt.), Adham Masood; Yaw Aboagye, Dylan Bradley. Subs. - Cian Doyle for Kane (46), Adam Feeney for Curran (46), Jack Healy for Quinlan (62), Michael Gardiner for Bradley (72), Adam Doyle for Aboagye, inj. (78), also Adam Dempsey, Adam Rochford.
Cork City: Dave Coffey; Dylan Scott, Adam O'Sullivan, Garan Manley (capt.), Ronan Hurley; Pierce Phillips; Denzil Fernandes, Daire O'Riordan, Alec Byrne, Jordan O'Regan; Cian Leonard. Subs. - Thomas O'Donovan for O'Sullivan (64), Cian Murphy for Leonard (67), also Adam O'Keeffe.
Referee: Seán Grant (Wexford).