Report: Wexford Youths 5-2 Rovers

Wexford Youths took the Women’s National League (WNL) points with a hard-earned, but convincing win fueled by a Kylie Murphy headed hat-trick against Sligo Rovers at Ferrycarraig Park on Saturday evening.

Wexford went into the game on the back of two defeats, but got back to winning ways with an emphatic display against a Sligo Rovers team that kept coming back at them until they conceded the final two goals in the space of a minute late in the second-half.

Wexford had the early chances with the best effort in the sixth minute from Ciara Rossiter, but Amy Mahon produced a smart save for the Bit O’Red.

Soon after Wexford’s Jess Lawlor flashed a shot over the bar and Mahon was kept busy as she saved a couple of subsequent efforts, but she was beaten in the 31st minute.

Rossiter centred and as Mahon advanced she was beaten to the ball by Kylie Murphy who got a vital touch for a 31st minute lead.

Sligo countered from the resultant kick-off and a superb Paula McGrory effort was tipped on to the crossbar and over by Wexford ‘keeper Maeve Williams.

Sligo Rovers continued to press and Gemma McGuinness hit over in the 35th minute as the pace picked up despite the windy conditions.

Murphy was denied by another good Mahon save, but Ciara Rossiter powered Wexford into a two-goal lead five minute from the interval.

Any thoughts Wexford had of a comfortable run to the interval were undone when Emma Doherty floated the ball over Williams and into the net to reduce the deficit.

Wexford resumed on the front foot and 14 minutes into the second-half Murphy headed the hosts into a 3-1 lead from a corner, but some 60 seconds later Doherty headed Sligo back into contention, also from a corner.

Both teams gave it 100 per cent for the remainder and Sligo Rovers enjoyed a brief spell of dominance.

However, in the 78th minute that Wexford restored a two-goal cushion when Murphy headed to the net for her hat-trick and a minute later the hosts were out of sight after Rossiter finished for her second.

Leading by 5-2, the hosts battened down the hatches for the final 10 minutes and were worthy of the victory against a hard-working and determined Sligo Rovers side that goes to Tolka Park next weekend to tackle Shelbourne.

Wexford Youths – Maeve Williams; Orlaith Conlon, Della Doherty, Kylie Murphy, Edel Kennedy, Becky Watkins, Ciara Rossiter, Jess Lawler, Nicola Sinnott, Aoibheann Clancy, Emma Walker.

Subs – Aine Walsh for Walker 73 mins, Lauren Dwyer for Lawler and Maedbh Russell for Doherty both 82m

Sligo Rovers – Amy Mahon; Leah Kelly, Ruth Monaghan, Emma Hansberry, Orna O’Dowd, Gemma McGuinness, Lauren Boles, Emma Doherty, Amy Roddy, Katie Melly, Paula McGrory.

Subs – Sarah Kiernan for O’Dowd and Kerri O’Hara for Melly both 67 mins, Ciara Henry for Monaghan 73m, Fiona Doherty for Kelly and Lauren McLellan for Hansberry both 80m.