Wexford Youths 0-3 Shamrock Rovers
It’s strawberry season in Wexford right now and the Hoops certainly had a fruitful journey to Ferrycarrig Park this afternoon when they did the business and beat Wexford F.C. 3-0.
The game began with a bang for the Hoops when, in the 2nd minute, they took the lead. A corner from Shane Stokes was cleared by the Wexford defence but Emmanuel Lawal won the ball back and sent it out wide to Stokes who whipped it back into the box where it was met with a diving header from Cian Collins to open the scoring.
That goal settled the Hoops quickly and, with the pressure off them, the pace of the game was fairly slow for much of the period after. Ciaran Murphy was sent through in the 18th minute for Wexford and brought off a fine point-blank save from Gratzer but the Hoops’ keeper need not have exerted himself anyway as Murphy was flagged offside.
The Hoops upped the pace and the Wexford goal came under persistent pressure. Lawal and then Dean Williams were denied chances by Wexford keeper Adam Dempsey. Stokes set English up in the 23rd minute and the creative midfielder elected to shoot high but Dempsey saved at the expense of a corner.
Three minutes later though the Hoops doubled their lead after Williams was fouled in the box. English stood up and slotted the ball home from the spot to make it 2-0. When Evan White sent Lawal on a run the winger switched the ball across to Adam Doyle who went close with a header but play was called back and the referee awarded Rovers a free which was taken by Stokes and resulted in English taking hold of it and sending a swerving shot just wide of the post.
Within two minutes of that move Collins met a corner ball from English and slotted home to make it 3-0. They had the strawberries before and now they had the ice cream to go with it!
Rovers went quiet for a while when the second half resumed. They didn’t see the need to do anything silly and put their comfortable lead into any danger.
Wexford did manage to create four or five decent chances, two of which were too close for comfort but Rovers pressed further up more as the game came into the final ten minutes.
They were able to introduce Luke Kiely who was making his return from a long lay-off and the midfielder got himself straight into the game with some really good moves.
With the first team playing in Dundalk Aidan Price’s squad were low on numbers but they brought Jordan Tallon, Dean Williams and Lee McEntee from the Under 17s with them to Wexford and both gave a good account of themselves when they made their debut for the Under 19s having been introduced as second half substitutes.
Shamrock Rovers: 1. Luca Gratzer; 8. Harry Cornally, 16. Cian Collins, 13. Darragh Gibbons, 3. Conor Gleeson; 7. Emmanuel Lawal, 21. Evan White, 17. Shane Stokes, 10. Richie English, 11. Adam Doyle; 9. Dean Williams.
Substitutes: 19. Luke Kiely (for Doyle 61 mins), 6. Lee McEntee (for Stokes 72 mins), 5. Jordan Tallon (for White 72 mins), 18. Conor Fitzharris.
Match report and photos by Robert Goggins.