Bank Hol­i­day mas­sacre as Wex­ford hit new low

Gorey Guardian - - SPORT - ALAN AHERNE

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.

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