Monaghan 0-06 Wexford 0-08
The under-fire Matty Forde let his football do the talking in Clones as Wexford gained revenge on Monaghan in a 0-08 to 0-06 All-Ireland SFC second round qualifier victory.
Forde, who could be banned for his apparent stamp on Offaly’s Shane Sullivan in the Leinster semi-final when the GAA’s Central Disciplinary Committee meets next Wednesday, fired over six points to send his side into the third round draw.
Out of competitive action since June 17, Monaghan struggled and scored only two points in the entire second half – Tommy Freeman fisted over his third point, two minutes after the interval, and Hugh McElroy pointed an injury-time free.
A gritty Wexford side deserved to progress – they trailed by 0-02 to no score after Stephen Gollogly and Freeman pointed in the opening quarter-hour.
Wexford’s only real chance in that time fell to former All-Star Forde who decided to shoot an angled free off his right boot and missed it to the glee of the Monaghan support.
But the Kilanerin clubman regained his pose to point twice in quick succession.
Forde then brought Wexford’s and his own tally to four – two from play and two from frees.
His 22nd-minute point was worth the admission price alone as he took a ball on the edge of the square and turned brilliantly to strike and split the posts.
Freeman and Paul Finlay replied for the Farney men, ensuring that the sides went in at the break at 0-04 apiece.
Freeman and substitute Eric Bradley swapped the opening points of the second half, but Monaghan waned for the closing half hour.
Wexford came to the fore in an ill-tempered second period.
They ended it with 14 men as Bradley was sent off for his second bookable offence but did enough to warrant the win, out-foxing their opponents.
Wing back Padraig Curtis forced Monaghan keeper Shane Duffy into an excellent save, Wexford then hit the front with two points from Forde. Midfielder Diarmuid Kinsella moved the visitors three ahead on 55 minutes.
Monaghan, who won last year’s qualifier clash between the sides by 0-17 to 0-12, wilted under the pressure.
Eoin Lennon and Dick Clerkin were getting little change at midfield and the Monaghan full-forward line were marked completely out of the game.
Centre forward Paul Finlay’s dismissal for a second yellow just about summed up the Ulster side’s afternoon.
McElroy raised the final white flag in injury-time, but Paul Bealin’s visitors never looked like losing once they grabbed their eighth score.
Monaghan: S Duffy; D McArdle, J Coyle, C Flanagan; D Freeman (capt), G McQuaid, V Corey; E Lennon, D Clerkin; J McElroy, P Finlay, S Gollogly; T Freeman, R Woods, E Duffy.
Wexford: J Cooper; N Murphy, P Wallace, C Morris; P Curtis, D Murphy, R Barry; R Stafford, D Kinsella; C Deely (capt), P Colfer, D Fogarty; L Murphy, PJ Banville, M Forde.
Referee: Frank Flynn (Leitrim)