Bank Holiday massacre as Wexford hit new low
THE BANK holiday Monday massacre in Ferrycarrig Park saw Wexford F.C. plunge to even lower depths than their 8-1 hammering at the hands of Drogheda United at the same venue on March 16.
Remarkably, that worst-ever defeat was relegated to second place on the list of shame as promotion hopefuls U.C.D. did as they pleased in the second-half in particular to crush an extremely poor home side 8-0.
It was also the students’ best victory, improving on an 8-1 hammering of Waterford two years ago, and in truth Wexford were lucky that their concession rate didn’t run into double figures.
The lack of leadership on the field and the complete absence of any fighting spirit from several players was simply unacceptable.
And the backroom team cannot escape criticism either, because if the coaching and general preparation was at the required levels, then there’s no way a squad in this league should be conceding eight goals twice in less than two months on their own patch.
Wexford had performed quite well in a 3-2 loss to U.C.D. in Dublin just ten days earlier when Aaron Dobbs and Shane Barnes looked sharp up front, but the former’s ankle injury sustained in the second-half of that game has sidelined him since.
It left Barnes all alone up front and feeding off scraps before Danny Doyle came on to perform the same thankless role, while captain Ross Kenny was ruled out by his second one-match ban of the season.
The visitors struck first in the twelfth minute when defender Liam Scales rose highest to dispatch a corner from the right to the net with a downward header.
And the second arrived just shy of the half-hour mark when an astute pass by Kevin Coffey left the talented Daire O’Connor in a foot race with centre-half Seán Kelly down the right flank.
There was only ever going to be one winner in that scenario, and when O’Connor’s low shot came back into play off the far post, Yoyo Mahdy had the easy task of tapping the rebound to the net.
Wexford posed precious little threat in the first-half, apart from an early Ryan Nolan shot that flew over and an effort from Shane Barnes that he pulled across goal and to the left and wide in the 33rd minute.
The second period showing was simply disgraceful, with U.C.D. adding six goals in the space of just 22 minutes as Wexford either didn’t want to know, or lacked the quality and desire to do anything about it.
Jason McClelland grabbed the third goal in the 57th minute at the second attempt from a Kevin Coffey cross to the back post after Kealan Gaffney turned his initial effort on to the woodwork.
Two minutes later Owen McCormack was beaten easily for possession by Coffey who set up McClelland once again, this time with a low shot to the left corner.
And four became five in the 62nd minute after Ryan Nolan gave the ball away with an attempted pass out of defence and U.C.D. captain Gary O’Neill strode forward before rattling the net.
O’Neill provided the assist for the sixth, rounding Kealan Gaffney from a Conor Crowley through ball before teeing up Yoyo Mahdy to head home from close range.
That arrived just before the midway point in the half, and the seventh came from O’Neill in the 73rd minute when he volleyed home from a McClelland corner after an initial shot by a colleague was blocked.
A shocking performance from Wexford was marred even further when McClelland completed his hat-trick from a Crowley pass with eleven minutes left. It was only by the grace of God that they didn’t concede ten or more.
Wexford F.C.: Kealan Gaffney; A.J. Lehane, Owen McCormack, Seán Kelly, Seán Hurley; Ryan Nolan; Mark Slater, Dean Kelly, Mikey Byrne (capt.), Dean George; Shane Barnes. Subs. - Danny Doyle for Barnes (63), Thomas Croke for D. Kelly (65), Liam McCartan for Slater (71), also Colum Feeney, John Morgan.
U.C.D.: Conor Kearns; Darragh Corcoran, Maxi Kouogun, Josh Collins, Liam Scales; Kevin Coffey, Paul Doyle, Gary O’Neill (capt.), Jason McClelland; Daire O’Connor; Yoyo Mahdy. Subs. - Evan Farrell for Kouogun (HT), Conor Crowley for O’Connor (61), Ben Hanrahan for Coffey (71), also Carl Williams, Dan Tobin, Mark Dignam, Seán McDonald.
Referee: Eoghan O’Shea (Tipperary).
Wexford F.C. midfielder Thomas C roke protects the ball from Evan Farrell of U.C.D.