Match Report: Wexford FC 1 - 2 Cobh Ramblers
Wexford FC will be disappointed not to have taken more from a game in which they were the better team for large chunks, but after an exciting game, most of the post-match discussion will revolve around referee Andrew Mullally.
Cobh started the brighter of the two teams, and came racing out of the starting blocks. Within the first 10 minutes Corey Chambers in the Wexford goal was called in to action tipping Charlie Fleming's header around the post from a Cobh corner kick. Then in the 12th minute, Mr. Mullally made his first big decision of the night, pointing to the spot to award Cobh a penalty. A cross came in from Charlie Fleming on the Cobh right, and it was brilliantly met by a diving header from Matthew Whelan, and an equally fantastic save from Corey Chambers diving to his right. But as everyone picked themselves up to carry on with the game, Craig McCabe was adjudged to have pushed Whelan to the floor, and was booked for the 'foul'. As is often the way, justice prevailed as Chambers dived low to his left to deny McCarthy, and pushed the ball around the post and out for a corner.
With 22 minutes on the clock, Wexford took the lead, scoring their first goal in 5 games, through Adam Hanlon. Wexford earned a throw-in deep in to Cobh territory on the left hand side. Reverting to a tactic used by previous Wexford teams, the throw was taken long by defender Craig McCabe. A Cobh head was the first to the ball, but the clearance only came as far as Hanlon on the edge of the box, and his right footed shot flew past Paul Hunt and in to the bottom corner of the goal.
Hanlon is really starting to become Wexford's go-to player, and was a constant threat to Cobh all evening. His tireless running and putting pressure on defenders would have left manager Damian Locke pleased.
Around the half hour mark, Cobh managed to level the tie. After a corner came in from the left, the ball was cleared as far as Cian Coleman approximately 20 yards out, to the left of goal. His shot back in was tame, but as it came through the crowd of players James McSweeney stuck out his foot and managed to deflect the ball past the helpless Chambers and in to the goal.
2 minutes after the equaliser however, Cobh should have been facing a Wexford penalty. Hanlon was played through on goal, and just as he was getting in to a shooting position, the Cobh hero from moments earlier, McSweeney, slid across when the ball was gone and completely took Hanlon out of the game. To the astonishment of everybody inside Ferrycarrig Park, referee Mullally blew his whistle and pointed away from the Cobh goal. Just to add insult to injury, he then showed Hanlon a yellow card for simulation.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first with lots of open play from both teams. Within 4 minutes, Wexford had another chance to score when Craig Hayes beat 'keeper Hunt to the ball only to see his attempt cleared off of the line by the alert Charlie Fleming, and then 2 minutes after this Eoin Porter had the ball in the net but he had unfairly gotten the better of his marker with a push.
With Wexford applying lots of pressure going forward, they turned off at the back after 75 minutes. An inswinging corner from the Cobh right was headed home by Matthew Whelan at the back post. It was one of the few times that Cobh had put any kind of play together in the Wexford half, but they were ruthless when the chance presented itself.
Wexford FC: Corey Chambers, Ricky Fox, Craig McCabe, Ross Kenny, Owen McCormack, Shane Dunne (John McKeown, 80), Adam Hanlon, Craig Wall (Mark Slater, 78), Craig Hayes (Danny Doyle, 75), Eoin Porter, Sean Hurley. Not used: Sean Eve, Andrew O'Connor, Liam Donnelly, Adam Dempsey.
Cobh Ramblers: Paul Hunt, Charlie Fleming, Ben O'Riordan, Chris McCarthy (Jason Abbott, 58), James McSweeney, Cian Coleman, Stephen Christopher (Ross Mann, 66), Craig Donnellan, Kyle McNamara (Scott McCarthy, 70), Matthew Whelan, Ian Mylod. Not used: Michal Sadys, Shane Lowth, Cian Ringston, Dean Swords.
League of Ireland First Division
Under 19 - Southern Division
Under 17 - Southern Division
Women's National League
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