Monday 23 October 2017

Youths carry on, but under altered name

First outing for Wexford FC in friendly

Dean Goodison

New arrival Adam Hanlon, a native of Arklow
New arrival Adam Hanlon, a native of Arklow

Wexford F.C., replacement for the now defunct Wexford Youths, played their first match on Friday, falling to Drogheda United in their final official pre-season friendly in I.T. Carlow.

Drogheda United 2 Wexford FC 1

As well as the change of name, there were also a few new additions to the then Wexford Youths team which lost their final ever game to Tallaght's Shamrock Rovers the previous week.

Joining from the Enniscorthy Shamrock Rovers were Ricky and Jamie Fox. The former is no stranger to Ferrycarrig Park, having been on the books of the club on several occasions.

Adam Hanlon started on the right wing. The Arklow native has had spells at Bray, Shelbourne and, last season, at Finn Harps. The wideman is a former Under-18 international.

Coming off the bench was Liam Donnelly, a Curracloe native who helped Drogheda to promotion to the Airtricity Premier Division last year.

A little disappointingly, there was not as many graduates from the under-age teams on show in this game.

Craig Hayes played the first-half and Conor Sutton came off the bench, but it was probably Dean George who shone in his brief cameo.

Wexford started brightly, with Lee Duffy flicking wide of the right post from a clever knockdown by the alert Seán Hurley. The pair combined in the twelfth minute but Duffy fired over with Stephen McGuinness stranded off his line.

Craig Wall forced McGuinness into a fine save, powerfully heading Hanlon's right-wing cross on target, but Wexford fell behind six minutes before the break when Jake Hyland was shoved by Ricky Fox in the box and Seán Thornton converted the spot-kick.

Mark Slater almost got in ten minutes into the second-half but he was denied by some McGuinness heroics at his feet.

The Wexford winger did win the battle in the 67th minute when his cross from the left flew over the 'keeper's head and into the net off the post.

The Ferrycarrig Park side almost took the lead when an almighty goalmouth scramble ended with McGuinness saving from George, moments after Ross Kenny saw his effort blocked by the lone, last defender on the goal-line.

Drogheda quickly broke and scored a 20-yard winner through Mark Griffin, although it's one goalkeeper Corey Chambers might like to have back. After United's late arrival, the full-time whistle went twelve minutes early, no doubt frustrating many a gambler around the world.

Wexford: Graham Doyle (capt.); Ricky Fox, Craig McCabe, Ross Kenny, Andrew O'Connor; Craig Wall, John McKeown; Adam Hanlon, Craig Hayes, Seán Hurley; Lee Duffy. Subs. - Mark Slater for Hurley (46), Thomas Croke for Hayes (46), Jamie Fox for McKeown (56), Shane Dunne for Wall (56), Liam Donnelly for Duffy (56), Conor Sutton for O'Connor (56), Corey Chambers for Doyle (64), Dean George for Hanlon (64).

Drogheda United: Stephen McGuinness; Colm Deasy, Luke Gallagher, Ciarán McGuigan, Conor Kane; Jake Hyland, Killian Brennan; Adam Wixted, Seán Thornton, Gavin Brennan; Stephen Elliott. Subs. - Mark Griffin, Stephen Dunne, Richie Purdy, Gareth McCaffrey, Lloyd Buckley, Kevin Farragher, Joe Efford, Ryan Masch, Dylan Sweeney.

Referee: Seán Grant (Wexford).

Wexford People