Cork City 1 Wexford Youths 3
CORK City suffered their third defeat in succession at Turner’s Cross in the Women’s National League as despite a spirited performance they were beaten 3-1 by title-chasing Wexford Youths on Saturday afternoon.
Sarah McKevitt grabbed their first goal of the season at their new home but a brace from Aoibheann Clancy and a close-range finish from Sinead Taylor was enough to earn Wexford the three points as City’s winless run at the beginning of the new campaign stretches to six games.
Manager Rónán Collins made just one change from his side that was unfortunate to have been held to a 2-2 draw by Athlone Town last weekend.
McKevitt, who enjoyed a brief spell with Wexford, recovered from her injury to start in attack with playmaker Eva Mangan dropping to the bench.
The home side started the game on the front foot and they went close to breaking the deadlock inside the opening minute but Republic of Ireland international Éabha O’Mahony’s powerful strike was saved by Youths keeper Kiev Dollard at her near post.
The goal itself came in the 17th minute in what was the first genuine sight at the back of the net.
It also came about in fortuitous circumstances as Aoibheann Clancy’s inswinging free-kick from the left-wing missed everyone, but crucially it deceived the goalkeeper before nestling in the far bottom right corner.
The Slaneysiders, buoyed by that finish, were now firmly in the ascendancy and they could have all but sealed the victory by the midway point in the first half.
City needed the fingertips of Abby McCarthy to turn a thunderous long-range strike from the highly-rated Ellen Molloy around her left upright shortly before Lauren Walsh almost headed the resulting corner into her own net.
And from the other corner that followed, Wexford again went close but Edel Kennedy could only stab Kylie Murphy’s knock on over the bar from close range.
City were hoping to follow the lead of their male counterparts, who defeated Wexford at this venue the night before and Laura Shine almost scored in similar circumstances to Cian Murphy’s second but keeper Kiev Dollard was lucky her clearance ricocheted back into her arms rather than the back of her net.
Both Lynn Marie Grant and Aisling Frawley fired over from long range either side of the half an hour mark but they soon thought they had made it 2-0 when the latter slotted home Molloy’s through ball from a few yards but the attacker’s celebrations were cut short as she was deemed to have been standing in an offside position.
The Rebel Army finished the first period strongly but their only attempts at snatching an equaliser came from 20 plus yards with O’Mahony firing tamely at the Wexford number one after McKevitt dragged her shot wide of the far post.
Wexford number 10 Sinead Taylor would have the first shot in anger of the second half but McCarthy was more than equal to it.
But the striker would have more joy with her next effort as she poked home from close range to give her side a significant grip on proceedings.
Right-back Lauren Walsh did well to stop Kylie Murphy from scoring in the build-up by the reprieve was all too brief as from the resulting set-piece, Taylor bundled the ball across the line after Nicola Sinnott’s header crashed against the crossbar.
City continued to battle and they set up an interesting final quarter of an hour when Sarah McKevitt found the far corner with a superb low drive from the edge of the box in front of the Shed.
But it wasn’t to be as Wexford secured the victory moments later when Clancy curled Ciara McNamara’s hurried clearance into the top left corner.
Abby McCarthy; Lauren Walsh, Ciara McNamara, Danielle Burke, Lauren Singleton; Becky Cassin, Éabha O’Mahony; Lauren Egbuloniu, Christina Dring, Sarah McKevitt; Laura Shine.
Katie McCarthy for Lauren Egbuloniu (62), Shaunagh McCarthy for Lauren Singleton (76), Riona Crowley for Danielle Burke (86), Kelly Leahy for Éabha O’Mahony (86), Leah Murphy for Sarah McKevitt (86).
Kiev Dollard; Lynn Craven, Edel Kennedy, Nicola Sinnott, Ciara Rossiter; Lynn Marie Grant, Aoibheann Clancy; Aisling Frawley, Ellen Molloy, Sinead Taylor; Kylie Murphy.
Lauren Kelly for Sinead Taylor (62), Lauren Dwyer for Lynn Craven (74), Kim Flood for Ciara Rossiter (74), Niamh Bates Crosbie for Kylie Murphy (74), Fiona Ryan for Aisling Frawley (86).