Tadhg Williams reports from Ferrycarrig Park
Bohemians were defeated 4-1 in their debut in the Women's National League at Ferrycarrig Park on Saturday evening by a powerful Wexford Youths teams.
Wexford dominated the game for the first 20 minutes. A couple of chances at the near post coming from very effective link up play down the left side.
Captain Kylie Murphy hit the side-netting from a Ciara Rossiter throw in after getting in between Bohemians defenders Chloe Flynn and Sinéad O'Farrelly in the sixth minute while Ellen Molloy's strike after a one-two with Lauren Kelly put the ball straight into the hands of Bohemians keeper Rugile Auskalnyte only a minute later.
Youths didn't have to wait too much longer to open the scoring. A Vanessa Ogbonna low ball across the six year box made Lauren Kelly's job easy as she touched it into the net.
At this stage it was clear that the pace of Wexford's attacking options were going to be difficult for the Women's National League newcomers to deal with. The Bohs off-side trap keeping them in the game with Wexford's attackers being caught off-side several times throughout the rest of the game.
Kylie Murphy's call of "You're fast, you don't need to be on the line" showed her confidence in Ogbonna at one stage.
Bohemians had a couple of chances to attack throughout the half with Abbie Brophy getting a lot of ball down the left flank and Chloe Darby getting a lot of possession in the middle of the park. They struggled to get the ball to striker Ally Cahill however.
Manager Seán Byrne made his feelings very clear towards the Bohs players on a couple of occasions with Youths making a lot of space for themselves in the centre of the park.
They doubled their lead in the 33rd minute when debutante Ellen Molloy met the end of a Nicola Sinnott ball over the heads of the Bohemians defenders. Molly lifted the ball over O'Farrelly and connected on the half volley to fire the ball into the bottom left hand corner. A very effective way to announce herself to the league.
Bohemians looked far hungrier when they emerged for the second half, immediately putting pressure on the Wexford defenders when they had the ball at their feet.
They began to get balls into the Wexford box, Chloe Darby getting a cross in on the 50th minute but it was easily dealt with by Ciamh Grey between the posts.
Wexford continued to dominate possession however with Molloy showing some incredible flair, taking the ball through the middle of the Bohemians defence to pass the ball only slightly wide of the right post in the 64th minute.
Molloy seemed to be at the centre of every Wexford attack in the second half, providing Murphy with a chance in the 66th minute however the height of the ball caused issues for both Murphy and Gypsies' keeper Auskalnyte, who eventually scooped the ball up.
Bohemians introduced former Kilkenny United striker Bronagh Kane along with wide midfielder Georgia Monks soon after and there was immediately a significant difference in the energy on the pitch. Kane dropping deep to pick up balls from her full backs gave Monks, Darby and Brophy on the right a lot more attacking opportunities.
They were knocked back again in the 65th minute however when Molloy skipped past captain Sineád O'Farrelly, cut inside and played the ball across the six year box for Vanessa Ogbonna to easily add her name to the scoresheet.
A series of changes by Tom Elmes meant a much more youthful Youths team for the remaining twenty minutes of the game with U17 graduates Breda Cushen and Kira Bates Crosbie linking up well on the right and underage international Aoibheann Clancy showing some moments of strength in the centre of the field.
A combination of the youths of Youths put Wexford 4-0 up in the 76th minute when Molloy once again knocked the ball through the Bohemians defence for Blessing Kingsley to pick up. A low ball across the box was picked up by Kira Bates Crosbie on the right side to set up for Molloy to hammer it home beneath Auskalnyte.
Bohemians continued to apply pressure where they could with manager Seán Byrne encouraging them to "get higher." They were rewarded with their first ever WNL goal in the 33rd minute when Chloe Darby chanced a shot from 25 yards, slipping through the gloves of Wexford keeper Grey.
Bohemians were unlucky to have not created more chances throughout the game, showing themselves to be a very physical and intelligent team. Wexford meanwhile showed themselves to be dominant and incredibly impressive on the ball. Tom Elmes will be thankful for such a talented group of younger players this year, showing themselves to be very capable today. Squad depth won't be an issue in Ferrycarrig Park this season.
Wexford Youths: Ciamh Grey; Lynn Craven (Breda Cushen 77'), Nicola Sinnott, Orlaith Conlon, Ciara Rossiter; Aisling Fraley (Kira Bates Crosbie 73'), Edel Kennedy (Aoibheann Clancy 66'), Kylie Murphy, Ellen Molloy; Lauren Kelly (Blessing Kingsley 66'), Vanessa Ogbonna (Fiona Ryan 77').
Subs Not Used: Maeve Williams (GK), Lauren Dwyer.
Bohemians: Rugile Auskalnyte; Sinéad O'Farrelly (C), Ciara Mulligan (Alannah Maxwell 70'), Katie Lovely, Chloe Flynn; Ann Marie Byrne (Georgia Monks 62'), Aisling Spillane, Chloe Darby, Sophie Watters, Abbie Brophy; Ally Cahill (Bronagh Kane 62')
Subs Not Used Courtney Maguire (GK), Robyn Bolger, Jessica Darby, Keelin McEntee
Booked: Sophie Waters (55), Aisling Spillane (83).
Referee: Claire Purcell
Extratime.com Player of the Match: Ellen Molloy (Wexford Youths).