Youths back at the top of the table
ACE marksman Danny Furlong with two first half goals in a five minute spell ensured Wexford Youths went back to the top of the table being rewarded for an absorbing display against leaders Finn Harps at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday evening last.
Wexford Youths 2 Finn Harps 0
Having soaked up this initial pressure the homeside began to show more promise in their play, particularly when they attacked down either flank, for the central defensive pairing of Keitn Cowan and Tommy McMonigal looked decidedly uncomfortable, with McMonigal receiving a yellow card as he pulled back the threatening Furlong.
Eighteen minutes into the game the decisive break arrived. A high ball was floated into the area but keeper Ciaran Gallagher misjudged the hop, leaving the ball to break. The lurking Danny Furlong still had some work to do as a covering defender, Matt Crossan arrived, but he somehow created space to shoot low into the bottom right hand corner of the net, making it 1-0.
Finn Harps threatened with some quick counter attacks but the confidence was now seeping through the Youths play following that opening breakthrough. Two minutes later Furlong had a dipping twenty-five meter free-kick tipped over by keeper Gallagher who looked somewhat uncomfortable after that initial mistake.
But in the twenty-third minute another rousing cheer shook the home venue. Shane Dunne and Andy Mulligan linked up down the left, with Mulligan sending over a pinpoint cross that was powerfully headed home by Furlong with keeper Gallagher stranded on his line, making it 2-0, with the excitement now building around the ground in what was a wonderful atmosphere.
At the opposite end, keeper Doyle denied Waters getting down to a low shot, while after thirty minutes, a Raymond Foy shot was deflected out for a corner that McMonigal headed over the top. Approaching the break Furlong forced another excellent save out of Gallagher from a well-struck free-kick, leaving the homeside to go in with a 2-0 interval lead.
With a two goal lead, the Youths set about fronting up to their opponents on the resumption, now allowing them any clear shot on goal. Still playing their quality passing football, whenever danger did appear the back four adopted the quick long ball out of the danger zone, which in turn helped them enjoy their share of possession inside Harps half. But with neither side managing a second half breakthrough it was the Youths who returned to the top of the table.
Wexford Youths: Graham Doyle; Craig McCabe, Gary Delaney, Lee Grace (inj. Ryan Delaney 52), Willie Tyrrell, Shane Dunne (Chris Kenny 79), Eric Molloy (John Peare (85), Craig Wall, Danny Furlong, Peter Higgins, Andy Mulligan. Subs Not Used: Conor Whittle, Conor English, Jimmy Drmody, Gavin Dowling.
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Marr Crossan, Ciaran Coll, Keith Cowan, Tommy McMonigal; Michael Funston (Kieran McDaid 78), Nathan Boyle, Raymond Foy, Wilfied Tagbo (Tony McNamee 61); Ron Waters, Gareth Harkin (Kevin McHugh 65). Subs Not Used: Tommy Lee McCaron, Oisin Hassett, Conor Keddy, Ata Ozbay.
Referee: David Keeler. Assistant Referees: Brian Fenlon and Trevor Cotter.
Fourth Official: Sean Grant.