Goals from Jason Molloy and Pat Hoban gave Mervue United their first away win of the season as they took the points against Wexford Youths at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday night.
Wexford will have entered this game in the hope of taking three points after appearing to have turned their mid-season form around, but Mervue United, with a good record against Wexford, had other ideas.
The game started brightly with both sides creating chances. Wexford’s Joe Mulcahy got the opening shot away after just three minutes and Pat Hoban, who caused the Wexford defence problems all night, scuffed his first shot on goal two minutes later. A cross-field ball from Eric Molloy again fell to Mulcahy but his lob went just over the Mervue bar.
The turning point of the game came after just 12 minutes when a cross from Hoban was headed home by Jason Molloy and Mervue found themselves with an early lead. After the goal both sides traded half chances with the next clear opportunity falling to Wexford, a neat one two between Mulcahy and Shane Nolan resulting in Nolan forcing a good save from Mervue ‘keeper Conor Gleeson.
Wexford continued to look for an equaliser but where limited to long range shots from outside the box with Mervue starting to take control of the game. Approaching half time Craig Wall was booked for a tackle on Mervue’s Noel Varley just inside Wexford half, and from the resulting free kick Hoban headed over the bar.
At half time Mervue left the pitch much the happier side with the Wexford faithful hopeful that the team that played against Longford and Finn Harps would emerge for the second period. But the good start that Wexford needed never materialised with Mervue’s Tom King hitting the crossbar in the first minute of the second half.
A scuffed shot from Aidan Keenan did hit the post before trickling wide but with Wexford failing to create any clear cut chances manager Shane Keegan made the decision to send on striker Tom Elmes on 65 minutes.
Elmes had a positive influence, causing the Mervue defence some problems, but perhaps the moment that sealed Wexford’s fate came in the 70th minute when a goal from Keenan was disallowed for a seemingly innocuous challenge on Gleeson. Just three minutes later Mervue were two up when the lively Hoban scored with a free header at the back post from a free by Michael McSweeney.
With five minutes remaining Wexford where handed a life line when Elmes was taken down inside the box and referee Adriano Reale awarded a penalty which Elmes stepped up to slot home his tenth league goal of the season, making him the league’s top scorer.
Wexford piled on the pressure in the final minutes and the best chance of an equaliser fell to Dean Boarders who just needed to get a touch on a cross to grab what would have probably been an undeserved draw.
Wexford will not only be unhappy with the result but also the nature of it with what can only be described as a lack lustre performance, whereas Mervue will be wondering what might have been only for some poor results earlier in the season when the squad was tested to the limit.
Wexford Youths: Graham Doyle; Gary Delaney (Shane Clarke 88), Sean Corcoran, Brian Nolan, James Scallon; Aidan Keenan, Craig Wall, Shane Nolan, Eric Molloy (Tom Elmes 65); Joe Mulcahy, Danny Furlong (Dean Broaders 88).
Subs not used: CJ Browne, James Darmody, Glen Hawe, Thomas Croke.
Bookings: Wall (40), Mulcahy (77).
Mervue United: Conor Gleeson; Mark Ludden, Martin Conneely (Damien O’Rourke 90+2), Mike Elwood, Gary Kelly; Tom King, Michael McSweeney, Alan Murphy, Noel Varley; Pat Hoban, Jason Molloy.
Subs not used: Conor O’Malley, Stephen Walsh, Etanda Nkololo, Cian McBrien, Jean Biansumba, Brian Connolly.
Bookings: Varley (71), J Molloy (77).
Referee: Adriano Reale.
Extratime Man of the Match: Pat Hoban lively all night causing problems for the Wexford defence, involved in the first goal and scoring the second.
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