Wick­low beaten by the neigh­bours

Bray People - - SPORT - GAVIN FORDE in Fern­dale Park

FERN­DALE PARK in Ark­low played host to a thrilling match-up be­tween Wex­ford and Wick­low on Sun­day af­ter­noon in the Os­car Traynor Tro­phy.

Wick­low started the game on the front foot and looked the more likely of the two sides to go in front. Wick­low striker Shane Doyle should have opened the scor­ing in the sec­ond minute when David O’Neill picked him out with a through ball that cut open the Wex­ford de­fence.

Doyle then went one-on-one with goal­keeper Ja­son Maguire, but the net­min­der got down in time and par­ried the shot away and out of dan­ger.

It took Wex­ford ten min­utes to kick into gear but when they did, the Wick­low de­fence found it very dif­fi­cult to keep them out.

Wex­ford be­gan to ap­ply heavy pres­sure on the Wick­low back four, and kept find­ing space and open­ings on both wings. Winger John Peare was caus­ing huge trou­ble down the left, of­ten mak­ing great runs down the line and cross­ing the ball into the penalty area, hop­ing one of his team-mates got their head on one of his crosses.

Peare made an­other great run down the left wing in the 24th minute and cut in­side on his right foot, but be­fore he could get a cross in he was taken down by Wick­low at­tacker Chad Ryan.

The re­sult­ing free-kick was saved by Wick­low ’keeper Eoin Fox, but Wex­ford’s Stephen Moloney was at the back post and headed in the re­bound.

Min­utes later Wick­low found an equaliser through mid­fielder Tony Har­ris.

A well-de­liv­ered cor­ner from New­town United man Dil­lon Carthy was taken on the chest by Har­ris be­fore de­liv­er­ing an ex­cel­lent first­time vol­ley into the top cor­ner. It was game on in Fern­dale Park with the score at 1-1 in the 27th minute.

Wick­low at­tacker Chad Ryan had been do­ing his best to put him­self about dur­ing the first-half but had suf­fered an in­jury early in the game which re­sulted in him be­ing sub­sti­tuted on the half hour mark, and he was re­placed by Danny Byrne.

Byrne was look­ing to use his pace up the right wing to try to get some crosses into tar­get man Shane Doyle, who hadn’t re­ally im­pacted much on the game as he was iso­lated up front on his own at times.

Just be­fore the 45-minute mark the away side took the lead through Adam Beary.

Wex­ford were cre­at­ing good chances with some balls over the Wick­low de­fence and used this tac­tic again in the 44th minute as a long ball over the top found James Peare. Peare then flicked the ball with his heel to Beary who rounded off the at­tack with a striker’s fin­ish into the bot­tom cor­ner.

It only took the away side five min­utes to grab an­other goal in the sec­ond-half as they went 3-1 up on 50 min­utes.

Wex­ford again used their long ball over the top tac­tic to per­fec­tion as James Peare was picked out and then slot­ted the ball past Fox, giv­ing him no chance with a tidy fin­ish.

On the hour mark it looked like the Wick­low side had just run out of ideas as some heads started to drop.

Winger Dil­lon Carthy was as dan­ger­ous as ever through­out the sec­ond-half, but he found him­self drift­ing into the mid­dle of the pitch try­ing to pick up pos­ses­sion as he wasn’t find­ing any joy out on the left.

Shane Roche and Kil­lian O’Car­roll were in­tro­duced to try to en­cour­age more at­tack­ing op­tions for the home side, but it looked to be a lit­tle too late for Wick­low.

Roche looked busy when he came on and al­most grabbed one back for his side in the 69th minute when Danny Byrne played him in with a ball over the Wex­ford de­fence, but the Ark­low man’s cross flashed across goal with no one in the penalty area.

Wex­ford had the chance to wrap up the game in the last minute when sub­sti­tute Ivan Mee­gan went one-on-one with Wick­low goal­keeper Eoin Fox.

Mee­gan rounded the ’keeper and had the op­por­tu­nity to tap the ball into an empty net but was too clever for his own good and tried to walk the ball into the net which gave the Wick­low de­fence time to track back and make a goal-line clear­ance.

Luck­ily, his side were 3-1 up at the time and his miss did not im­pact the game.

It was a strong per­for­mance from Wex­ford who will take a lot of pos­i­tives into their next fix­ture against the Kilkenny League. Wick­low on the other hand have a lot of work to do if they want to make im­prove­ments.

Wick­low goal­keeper Eoin Fox does well to deny Wex­ford’s Craig McCabe.

Wick­low’s Tony Har­ris is con­grat­u­lated by team-mates after scor­ing the equaliser.

Bran­don Feely wins the ball for Wick­low.

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