Airtricity League First Division

November 7, 2018

In what has been the first real shock of the season, Wexford Youths escape from Shannonside with all three points as Limerick are left rueing their missed opportunities. A single Shane Nolan goal was enough, deep into injury time, to secure the first points for the Youths.

Limerick started very well, creating a scoring chance in the first few moments as good work from Paudie Quinn left Shane Tracy with a chance, the winger shooting into the palms of the Wexford goalkeeper.

Tracy was again the guilty party, as he wasted another glorious opportunity. Stephen O’Flynn outmuscled Gareth McCurtin, on the left wing. His well placed pass found Tracy in space, who drove his effort high and wide of the Wexford goal.

Youths’ only real threat appeared to be from set pieces, and this showed after ten minutes when Darragh Walshe was found at the back post, volleying just wide. Seconds later, Sean O’Connor created space for himself just inside the Wexford box, his wicked shot flew past the post. Limerick were knocking on the door.

Wexford defensive tactics would have appeared to be working as Limerick struggled to find any real grip of the ball in the middle of the park, David O’Leary showing his lack of strength and experience. As the Limerick players began to get frustrated, Wexford seemed to enjoy the game more.

The first shot on target wasn’t until five minutes before the half time whistle. Again, Tracy with a tame effort that was merely catching practice for Patrick Holden in the Wexford goal.

Limerick’s young talent, and man of the match last week, Paudie Quinn turned provider for Shane Tracy moments later. Following some lovely footwork, he provided Tracy with a guilt edge chance. Tracy however spurned yet another chance for the Blues.

As the half time whistle sounded, a cloud of pessimism overshadowed the Treaty City.

The second didn’t begin with the urgency that perhaps it should have from the home side. The first real goalmouth action consisted of Barry Ryan comfortably catching from a speculative Danny Furlong effort.

The home fans almost had something to cheer when a fantastic ball from ex-Hoop Sean O’Connor appeared to beat everyone, but Stephen O’Flynn made a last minute dash and got a toe to it. Whilst the ball looked goal bound, somehow it ended up in the side netting.

The game heated up from here, the introduction of Jeffrey Judge made the midfield a real battle, and the challenges were plentiful. Limerick had yet another chance as a Shane Tracy corner found Brian McCarthy at the back post, he headed wide of the goal.

In the last ten minutes, three more chances would follow. The first of which was down to Sean O’Connor’s run, he picked out Stephen O’Flynn on the edge of the Wexford box. With the keeper committed, O’Flynn cleverly slid in Chris Breen, who somehow managed to send the ball past the post.

The second fell to Pat Purcell. A corner which was cleared back out to O’Connor was pumped back into a crowded box. The Limerick captain was at the back post, and did well to get clean contact, Holden dived down to his left to tip the ball past the post.

The last chance fell to Peter Hynes. Another diagonal cross evaded everyone, except for Hynes, who was lurking at the back post. Hynes fired miles over from a position where only a goal seemed likely.

While every Limerick player was devoted to attack, Shane Nolan won the foot race with Corrie Tracey, he then looked up to see Barry Ryan miles off his line, he calmly lofted the ball over the experienced stopper into the top corner of the net. Wexford were jubilant, and Jackman Park emptied.

Limerick FC: Ryan, Tracey, McCarthy, Purcell, Frost, O’Leary (Judge 50) , White, Quinn (Hynes 58), Tracy (Breen 67), O’Connor, O’Flynn.
Subs not Used: Cusack, Broughall, O’Callaghan, Coleman.

Wexford Youths: Holden, K.Keogh, McCurtin, M.Keogh, Wolfe, Malone (Yelverton 70), Ryan, Wall, Furlong (Mullen 87), Walshe, Rowe (Nolan 75).
Attendance: 564