Preview: Women host Wexford Youths on Saturday

The first of two home games in a week will give the Sligo Rovers players a big incentive to make a statement in the Women’s National League as they host second-placed Wexford for a high-noon showdown on Saturday and then it’s Peamount the following week before a mid-season break.

Wexford visit the Showgrounds for a must-win tussle against a Rovers side that they defeated 2-0 in late April.

However, that was a hard-earned home win for the Wexford women who grabbed the lead in the 38th minute through Becky Watkins, but they had to wait until the 81st minute for a second goal when Ciara Rossiter finished after Kylie Murphy’s initial shot was blocked by Kristen Sample, who remains on the injured list.

Last weekend Wexford negotiated Athlone Town and that 2-1 victory pleased manager Stephen Quinn.

“Orlaith Conlon had a good game and scored a great goal against Athlone, we knew it was going to be a serious battle and they came back at us after we went 2-0 up,” he commented.

“We have two games now until the break, starting with Sligo Rovers this weekend and then Shelbourne the following week, we need good performances and hopefully we will get the results,” he added.

Ellen Molloy got the crucial second Wexford goal last weekend soon after the break, her 11th of the season, and that helped extend an unbeaten run to five games, they will be aiming to make it six at the Showgrounds on Saturday.

While Sligo Rovers will face a serious test, Steve Feeney’s side go into the game bidding to make it three unbeaten after last Saturday’s scoreless draw with Treaty that saw impressive young goalkeeper Amy Mahon keep a clean sheet for a second successive week.

Feeney was able to take the positives out of last Saturday’s scoreless draw against bottom-of-the-table Treaty Utd at the Market’s Field.

“We didn’t show our best form against Treaty and that was a bit frustrating, but despite that we still got something out of the game and we kept a second clean sheet,” stated Feeney.

“I couldn’t fault the commitment or effort of the players against Treaty, but it was one of those games.

“We brought Jessica (Casey) in a right back as Pixie (Kerri O’Hara) missed out through injury, I thought Jessica was excellent, Sarah (Kiernan) came in at left back for Amy (Hyndman) and she also did well.

“Both Jessica and Sarah have come up through the under-age teams with the club and it was great to see the performances they put in against Treaty,” he added.

Looking to the game against Wexford, the manager is well aware of the challenge that his team will face this time.

“Wexford are a good side, one of the big three, but when we went to Ferrycarrig Park we probably stood off them a bit too much in the first-half and were more in the game in the second-half,” he stated.

“We will be aiming to make it difficult for Wexford and we will be aiming to get something out of the game, it’s a great challenge for us and a chance to show what progress we have made,” he added.