Shamrock Rovers prevail as Wexford Youths rue missed chances

Shamrock Rovers 2 Wexford Youths 0
Shamrock Rovers prevail as Wexford Youths rue missed chances

There was little to commend the contest in the first-half with the visitors enjoying the first chance of note in the 11th minute but Ryan Delaney’s header lacked sufficient power to trouble Barry Murphy.

Within two minutes, Maxime Blanchard headed over when well placed from Brandon Miele’s corner-kick and in the 16th minute, Gary McCabe was equally amiss with an ambitious attempt from 30 metres.

As the contest evolved, Wexford began to play with greater authority and a long-distance effort from Danny Furlong reflected their growing confidence.

Miele looked the most likely prospect for the hosts at this stage and he almost managed to break through on two occasions within three first-half minutes.

The initial chance arrived in the 29th minute when his dribble took him through on goal but Lee Grace timed his tackle to perfection to deny the Rovers winger.

Within two minutes, the previously impeccable control of Miele was found wanting as the ball eluded his control after a perfectly-placed pass from deep by Gavin Brennan.

The half culminated in a sharp counter-attack from Wexford that left them with a man advantage but a trio of Paul Murphy, Aiden Friel and Furlong failed to take advantage of an over-stretched Rovers’ defence.

The lively Furlong looked threatening throughout the evening and he almost broke the deadlock within two minutes of the restart but his attempt from ten yards was superbly repelled by Murphy.

From the resultant corner-kick, taken by John Bonner, the home defence was marked absent but an unmarked Furlong failed to capitalise, heading wildly over from six yards.

The deadlock was eventually broken on the hour mark as Danny North was on hand to poke home after Graham Doyle had failed to collect a Miele free-kick.

The visitors worked tirelessly to restore parity but the draw that their overall performance merited was denied them as Barry Murphy denied Paul Murphy when through on goal and their fate was sealed in the 89th minute as McCabe converted from the spot after Grace fouled substitute Pat Cregg.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Murphy; Madden, Blanchard, O’Connor, G Brennan; Miele, K Brennan (Cregg, 79), McCabe, D Clarke (P Clarke, 90); Drennan, North (Shaw, 74).

WEXFORD YOUTHS: Doyle; McCabe (Wall, 78), G Delaney, Grace, R Delaney; Friel, Kenny (Ledwith, 78), Bonner (Mulligan, 78), Molloy; Murphy, Furlong.

Referee: Ben Connolly (Dublin)

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