Wicklow beaten by the neighbours
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.