League Report: Wexford FC 2 - 1 Kerry FC

Wexford FC sustained their recently revived run of form with a 2-1 win over newcomers Kerry FC at Ferrycarrig Park on St. Patrick’s Day.

Goals from Mark Hanratty and Brandon McCann gifted Wexford the three points despite a late Leo Gaxha consolation goal for the visitors.

Unfortunate injuries for three key players meant Wexford had to shift their tactics, after Aaron Robinson, Conor Levingston and Kian Corbally were forced off in last week’s scoreless draw away to Finn Harps.

They didn’t seem too fazed by this adjustment though and found themselves a goal ahead after just four minutes.

Aaron Doran had been fouled by Kerry’s Graham O’Reilly in the build-up, with the referee awarding a free kick to the home side.

The ball was whipped in to meet the head of Ethan Boyle who charged it towards Hanratty in the middle, where the former Longford Town midfielder produced a fine left footed volley to give his side the lead.

Wexford dominated the remainder of the half but appeared to sit back a little without putting any real pressure on the visitors.

Aaron Dobbs found himself in front of goal with 15 minutes on the clock but hit the ball directly at Kerry’s ‘keeper Wayne Guthrie, with Doran causing panic to their defence at times with his pace and long-range attempts.

James Keddy’s side came close to grabbing a second late in the half when James Crawford stepped up to take a free kick – his chance rattling the crossbar.

Darragh Levingston, in particular, was the driving force for Wexford in his first senior start for the club – his threatening set pieces and intelligence at the back serving him well.

Kerry came out a lot more forceful in the second-half and took good control of the ball in the tricky, wet conditions.

Billy Dennehy’s men had several noteworthy clearances of the ball as Wexford looked for their second of the night.

Samuel Aladesanusi produced a fantastic tackle on the wing to deny Hanratty running any further down the line towards goal.

Wexford did eventually find goal number two with 13 minutes left on the clock thanks to McCann’s low, powerful shot.

The ball was initially swept into the box from a Danny Furlong corner kick – Hugh Douglas missing the opportunity to head it in, but it fell to McCann who controlled it before blasting it to the back of the net.

McCann looked quite uncomfortable from then onwards with an apparent groin injury but was forced to stay on the field as Wexford were out of substitutions – Keddy will be hoping it won’t be a serious issue for the playmaker ahead of next week.

Kerry did manage to cause a scare in the dying minutes when substitute Ryan Kelliher swooped a rocketing ball in from the left to meet Gaxha, who then flicked a perfect header past Heffernan to make it 2-1.

The Wexford defence were caught napping, but it wasn’t enough for Kerry to gain any points to bring back to the Kingdom.

Wexford will reunite with former boss Ian Ryan next week when they travel to the Carlisle Grounds to face Bray Wanderers, the latter unbeaten so far in the league.

Kerry will hope for a better result in the next round of fixtures when they host Athlone Town at Mounthawk Park.

Wexford: Charlie Heffernan; Ethan Boyle, James Crawford, Hugh Douglas, Jordan Tallon (Jordan Adeyemo 54); Mark Hanratty, Darragh Levingston (Karl Chambers 67), Brandon McCann, Reece Webb; Aaron Dobbs (Danny Furlong 72), Aaron Doran (Corban Piper 66).

Subs not used: Colm Cox, Matthew Dunne, Ben Lynch.

Booked: Jordan Tallon (53).


Kerry FC: Wayne Guthrie; Samuel Aladesanusi, Shane Guthrie (Ronan Teahan 70), Andy Quaid (Rob Vasiu 43), Kevin Williams; Jonathan Hannafin, Matt Keane (Sean McGrath 70), Sean Kennedy (Ryan Kelliher 75), Graham O'Reilly; Leo Gaxha, Nathan Gleeson (Cian Brosnan 75).

Subs not used: Callan Scully, Alex Ainscough, Cian Barrett, Togor Silong.

Booked: Sean Kennedy (39), Sean McGrath (71).


Referee: Paul Norton

Attendance: 605

extratime.com Player of the Match: Darragh Levingston (Wexford)