Women’s Preview: Wexford Youths

Sligo Rovers return to action in the Women’s Premier Division (WPD) with the TG4 cameras returning to the Showgrounds for a big game on Saturday evening as the Bit O’Red prepare to host Wexford, 7.35pm, writes Conall Collier.

Steve Feeney’s side will be in a buoyant mood following last Sunday’s FAI Cup victory against Donegal side Bonagee Utd while Keeva Flynn was also called into the Republic of Ireland under-17s for a series of friendlies in Portugal this week.

The Wexford women will be fully-focused on the challenge they will face at the Showgrounds after last Saturday’s penalty shoot-out exit from the FAI Cup against DLR Waves. They shared six goals with the Dublin side in a thriller, but lost out on penalties.

That was a disappointing result for a Wexford side that had beaten DLR Waves the previous week on a 4-1 scoreline when the WPD action resumed after the mid-season break.

The Sligo Rovers players won’t read too much into the 11-0 victory that was achieved against Bonagee Utd in the FAI Cup as they were expected to win the game.

However, the margin of victory was a surprise and, in that sense, it reflected the latent talent of a Sligo Rovers squad that has struggled in the WPD this season with only one win achieved so far, a 2-0 win against Cork City at Turner’s Cross back in May.

One notable fact is the results achieved by each side against Shelbourne this season.

The defending champions defeated Sligo Rovers by 6-0 last May and then in June recorded a 5-0 victory against Wexford who had defeated Shelbourne by 1-0 a few weeks earlier with Rianna Jarrett the scorer.

At Ferrycarrig Park last March, the hosts defeated Sligo Rovers by 3-1, but the Bit O’Red claimed the goal-of-the-match when Sarah Kiernan hit a sensational 49th minute equaliser.

Kiernan won possession around midfield and from halfway lobbed Wexford ‘keeper Maeve Williams for a goal that cancelled Michaela Lawrence’s first-half strike.

There was also a setback for Sligo Rovers that day as they had to replace Casey Howe just before the interval after she picked up an ankle injury.

Wexford regained the lead in the 70th minute when Rianna Jarrett powered a header to the net and with 14 minutes remaining Emily Corbet added a third goal to seal the 3-1 victory.

Jarrett (two) and Ciara Rossiter scored the goals for Wexford in last Saturday’s FAI Cup tie against DLR Waves and that duo will be a threat again this weekend.

Wexford will be expecting to pick up three points at the Showgrounds, but a hard-fought contest is on the cards and the Sligo Rovers duo of Emma Doherty and Casey Howe will be eager to continue their goal-scoring exploits.

The game will be live on TG4 with kick-off at 7.35pm.