Cork City swept aside as Ellen Molloy inspires Wexford Youths

Irish international hit a hat-trick at Ferrycarrig Park
Cork City swept aside as Ellen Molloy inspires Wexford Youths

Cork City's Lauren Singleton and Wexford Youths' Becky Watkins in action last weekend. Picture: Patrick Browne

Wexford Youths 5 Cork City 1 

ELLEN Molloy gave an exhibition at Ferrycarrig Park on Saturday evening, showing the full range of her silky skills as Wexford Youths swept aside the challenge of Cork City in their SSE Airtricity Women's National League clash.

The Republic of Ireland international helped herself to a hat-trick inside the opening 19 minutes, and although Becky Cassin pulled a goal back midway through the half, Kylie Murphy restored the three-goal cushion before the interval, before doubling her tally just after the hour mark as Wexford kept their opponents at arm's length.

Molloy had fired a couple of warning shots before her opening goal, first warming the gloves of goalkeeper Abby McCarthy from the edge of the area and then failing to get a telling touch on a Ciara Rossiter cross from the left.

The match was only two minutes old when she did break the deadlock, confidently slotting the ball to the net after being teed up by Kylie Murphy following a flowing move.

Murphy then had a sight of goal herself in the ninth minute, turning smartly just outside the box, but her shot was straight down the throat of McCarthy.

The opportunities were coming thick and fast for the hosts and Ciara Rossiter was next to try her luck, racing through and attempting to lob the netminder, but her effort went the wrong side of the left post.

The hosts did double their advantage with 13 minutes on the clock. Orlaith Conlan played a perfectly-weighted through ball for Molloy to run on to, and she never looked like missing, calmly rounding the goalkeeper before sliding the ball to the net.

The Kilkenny native completed her hat-trick in the 19th minute and the goal was a thing of beauty. Kylie Murphy delivery's was sublimely cushioned into the path of Molloy by Teegan Lynch, and the finish more than matched the build-up as she unleashed a sweet right-footed shot to the corner of the net.

Wexford Youths' Ciara Rossitter battles Cork City's Zara Foley. Picture: Patrick Browne
Wexford Youths' Ciara Rossitter battles Cork City's Zara Foley. Picture: Patrick Browne

The visitors began to grow into the game as the half wore on, and they gave themselves a glimmer of hope in the 25th minute when former Youth stalwart Becky Cassin met an Aoife Cronin cross from the right and headed home from close range.

The goal gave Cork renewed confidence and Lauren Singleton's free-kick was well held by Ciamh Gray in the 30th minute, but they were hit with a real sucker-punch five minutes before the break.

This time Molloy turned provider, picking up the ball in her own half and sending Murphy clear and the captain coolly took the ball around the advancing McCarthy and applied the finish.

Cork City had the first opportunity of the second-half, with Lauren Singleton shooting wide of the right post, but Molloy then came close to grabbing her fourth, running on to a Murphy pass but seeing her audacious effort drift wide of the right post.

Murphy then put Becky Watkins through in the 62nd minute, and she rounded the goalkeeper but saw her shot blocked by a retreating defender and out for a corner-kick.

The Cork City reprieve was short-lived, however, with Ciara Rossiter whipping in the resulting corner from the right and Murphy heading to the net.

Watkins came close to getting on the scoresheet in the 72nd minute, taking a clever Rossiter pass in her stride, before shifting the ball to her right and forcing a fine save out of McCarthy.

Watkins was again thwarted by the busy netminder in injury time, advancing smartly off her line to block her fierce shot.

WEXFORD: Ciamh Gray, Meabh Russell, Della Doherty, Nicola Sinnott, Orlaith Conlon, Ciara Rossiter, Aoibheann Clancy, Teegan Lynch, Becky Watkins, Ellen Molloy, Kyle Murphy (c). 

Subs: Emma Donoghue for Sinnott (68), Emma Walker for Lynch (68), Maeve Williams for Gray (75), Freya De Mange for Clancy (75), Siun Murdiff for Murphy (82), also Jess Lawler, Cliodna Donnelly, Freya Roche, Leah Martin.

CORK CITY: Abby McCarthy, Zara Foley, Ciara McNamara, Danielle Burke, Lauren Singleton, Aoibhin Donnelly, Becky Cassin (c), Kelly Leahy, Eva Mangan, Aoife Cronin, Christina Dring. 

Subs: Nadine Seward for Cronin (62), Shaunagh McCarthy for Donnelly (62), Kate O'Donovan for Leahy (76), Leah Murphy for Dring (76), Orlaith Deasy for Burke (80), also Hannah Walsh.

Referee: Claire Purcell.

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