Report: Rovers Women 1-4 Wexford Youths

Wexford took the Women’s Premier Division (WPD) points home from the Showgrounds tonight with a 4-1 win against a battling Sligo Rovers side in front of the TG4 cameras, writes Conall Collier.

The last time TG4 was at the Showgrounds they got five goals and tonight the teams served up another five-goal feast.

Unfortunately, for the hosts, it didn’t work out as well this time around as Wexford claimed the 4-1 victory, Last season, in front of the cameras, Sligo Rovers edged out the champions Shelbourne on a 3-2 scoreline.

This time around a determined Wexford side made some amends for last week’s FAI Cup exit with a brace of goals in each half for a merited victory.

After scoring 11 last week in the FAI Cup, Sligo Rovers managed a late consolation, but well-deserved, goal as Casey Howe finished to the net in the 86th minute after going close on a number of occasions
throughout the 90 minutes.

Bit O’Red manager Steve Feeney made two changes to the team that won in the FAI Cup last Sunday with Kate Nugent and Lauren Boles replacing Keeva Flynn and Katie Melly.

Nugent came in for Flynn who is away with the Republic of Ireland under-17s in Portugal and she featured from the start in today’s 3-1 victory against Scotland.

A fast-paced first half saw chances at both ends, but Wexford generally dictated the exchanges with the hosts threatening on the break.

Bonnie McKiernan was in action in the opening minute with a smart save to deny Wexford an early goal while at the other end Emma Doherty had a chance, but the danger was cleared.

Wexford continued to press for an opening goal and both Edel Kennedy and Ciara Rossiter went close.

Then in the 19th minute, Kennedy got a vital touch on a cross to open the scoring for Wexford.

Emma Doherty and Jodie Loughrey continued to cause problems for the Wexford rearguard and with Lauren Boles adding a solid midfield presence the Bit O’Red looked like going in at the break only a goal down.

However, in the 46th minute Ciara Rossiter gave Wexford a 2-0 interval advantage with an opportunist goal when she pounced on a loose ball and rifled to the net.

The Wexford women were comfortable for most of the second-half although they struggled at times to deal with the threats of Doherty and Howe for the Bit O’Red.

Howe brought a finger-tip save out of Claudia Keenan in the 71st minute that kept Wexford’s two-goal advantage intact.

Soon after, the crucial third goal arrived for Wexford when Kylie Murphy finished a Ciara Rossiter cross and in the 75th minute Rossiter grabbed another opportunist goal with a speculative lob that went in off the far post.

The home supporters had something to cheer when Howe hit that late consolation goal.

Notable for Wexford was the return of Ellen Molloy in the 66th minute as the visitors did enough to take the points.

Sligo Rovers – Bonnie McKiernan; Leah Kelly, Alic Lillie, Sarah Kiernan, Eimear Lafferty, Kate Nugent, Keri Loughrey, Lauren Boles, Jodie Loughrey, Emma Doherty, Casey Howe. 

Subs – Amy Hyndman for Boles and Ciara Henry for Lafferty both 68 mins, Helen Monaghan for Lillie and Kerri O’Hara for Nugent both 75m, Jessica Casey for K Loughrey 80m.

Wexford – Claudia Keenan; Orlaith Conlon, Lauren Dwyer, Nicola Sinnott, Meabh Russell, Edel Kennedy, Kylie Murphy, Aoibheann Clancy, Ciara Rossiter, Michaela Lawrence, Abbie Brophy.
Subs – Ellen Molloy for Lawrence and Freya De Mange for Kennedy both 66 mins, Emily Corbet for Murphy 70m, Jess Conlon for Lawlor 76m.

Referee – Mark Patchell.