Wexford Youths 4 Cork City 1
WEXFORD Youths secured a vital three points in their pursuit of the Women’s National League title as they impressively defeated Cork City 4-1 at Ferrycarrig Park on Saturday evening.
Goals from Kylie Murphy (2), Sinead Taylor, and Ellen Molloy were enough to inflict another defeat on City, who remain with just one win in their 14 games this season despite Eva Mangan’s late consolation.
Manager Paul Farrell was forced to make four changes from his starting 11 that drew 2-2 with Athlone Town at Turner’s Cross last weekend.
Shaunagh McCarthy and Becky Cassin failed to recover from the knocks they suffered in that match while Sophie Liston and Lauren Egbuloniu dropped out having left the club ahead of their moves to college in America.
In their place came Danielle Burke, Lauren Singleton, Laura Shine, and Christina Dring while Éabha O’Mahony, who is also destined for a transfer Stateside in the near future, was granted permission to play one last game for the club while recently signed Tiffany Taylor would later make her debut from the substitute's bench.
City battled well during the opening exchanges but with their first sight at goal, Wexford took the lead in the fifth minute thanks to a superb finish from Kylie Murphy.
Aoibheann Clancy’s pass inside found Sinead Taylor whose neat lay-off then teed up Murphy on the edge of the penalty area and the midfielder expertly curled the ball across the keeper and into the top left corner.
Youths knew they needed a win here to keep them firmly in the race for the league title after Shelbourne’s emphatic victory against Treaty United put them four points of Wexford and also top of the table.
They ought to have doubled their lead in the tenth minute but after being released by Edel Kennedy’s clever flick, Kylie Murphy’s low strike was saved well by the feet of goalkeeper Abby McCarthy.
The visitors were well in this game though and they threatened on the counter-attack shortly before the much-needed water break as Laura Shine’s excellent pass sent Sarah McKevitt bursting into the box but she couldn’t get a shot away as Della Doherty made a sensational last-ditch tackle.
O’Mahony took the resulting corner but Dring couldn't keep her header down from a few yards out.
The Leesiders needed McCarthy to make another excellent save to stop Sinead Taylor’s lob from dropping in midway through the first half before City went close from another set-piece.
Again O’Mahony’s inswinging delivery found its destination but Ciara McNamara stabbed the ball over the target from a good position.
Republic of Ireland international Ellen Molloy started to get in the game more as half-time approached and not long after she fired over from distance, she played her part in Wexford’s second goal of the evening.
Molloy’s run and pullback from the end-line found Aisling Frawley unmarked in the middle but McCarthy did well to parry her powerful strike.
Danielle Burke’s rushed clearance went straight to Murphy though and she coolly lifted the ball into the far bottom-right corner for her second of the game.
Molloy missed two great opportunities to make it 3-0 before the interval but shortly after she curled a free-kick inches wide of the near post, she saw her tame strike saved by McCarthy when she was through one on one, which came about following another mistake in the City defence.
Kylie Murphy nearly completed her hat-trick at the beginning of the second 45 but her initial shot and her rebound both failed to beat the brilliant Abby McCarthy.
City remained competitive without ever looking like getting back into the contest and either side of the hour Wexford sealed the win with Sinead Taylor finding the bottom right corner from 25 yards before Molloy added a fourth when her well-struck volley from distance was fumbled across the line by McCarthy.
City battled until the end and they would have something to celebrate when Eva Mangan found the far corner of the net from distance following a clever one-two with Shine late on.