Bus Eireann Womens National League
By Peter Doyle
Wexford Youths Women 2 Shamrock Rovers 0
The home sides injury crisis continues as they took to the field in this game against Shamrock Rovers minus two of the players who had started last weeks game against Galway. The visitors had their own issues and after last weeks postponement, they were probably glad to get their season finally kick started.
Wexford captain Kylie Murphy was still out after her clash with the Galway keeper while Mary Rose Kelly was in goal for the Wexford footballers, giving young reserve keeper Tamara Furlong the opportunity to make her starting debut. The good news was that Jessica Gleeson returned albeit with a face guard, and brought a semblance of normality to the back four which lasted all of six minutes as Under Nineteen international picked up an ankle injury and had to be taken off to be replaced by new signing Niamh Nolan.
The opening thirty minutes of this game was very unsettled with neither side able to stamp any sort of authority on the game and neither goalie was called on to make any sort of save. An inswinging shot from Stacey Nesbitt which went wide was probably the best chance of the game for Rovers while Katie McCarthy was unlucky not to get on the end of an Edel Kennedy through ball for Wexford Youths.
Jenny Clifford replaced Amy Walsh just before half time and the home side came out in the second half with a far more attack minded attitude and both Maria Delahunty and Jessica Gleeson saw shots just go wide of Michelle Watsons post early in the second half. Eleven minutes into the half, Rovers were fortunate to scramble the ball clear but Edel Kennedy picked up the eventual clearance, made space for herself and sent the ball low to the corner of the net. Rovers lost the ball after kicking off and seconds later found themselves two nil down when Jenny Clifford broke down the left wing, saw her shot rebound off the post but Katie McCarthy was on hand to tap the ball to an empty net and within a minute, Wexford looked to be home and dry.
Rovers did try to get back into the game but the home side were now in control and while they did little to create any more chances, they held the visitors comfortably at bay and played out for a comfortable win in the end despite looking far from impressive in the first half.
Ashling Frawley was very impressive for the home side with her runs down the right wing causing Rovers all sorts of problems while goalkeeper Tamara Furlong can be very pleased with her full debut. Captain for the day, Edel Kennedy showed a return to form, working hard and was fully deserving of her goal while sub Jenny Clifford showed why she is an integral part of the Republic of Ireland Under Seventeen team
Best for Rovers on the day were keeper Michelle Watson and defenders Stacey Nesbitt and Ciara Smith. These two sides meet again this coming Sunday when they clash in the FAI Womens Senior Cup quarter final with a two o clock kick off in the AUL, Clonshaugh
Wexford Youth Women: Tamara Furlong, Lauren Dwyer (Niamh Nolan), Jessica Gleeson, Laura Heffernan, Linda Douglas, Edel Kennedy, Maria Delahunty, Lucy Sherwin, Ashling Frawley, Katie McCarthy (Aoibheann Webb) Amy Walsh (Jenny Clifford). Subs not used: Rachel Hutchinson, Julia Testorp, Aimee Jordan, Claire O Riordan
Shamrock Rovers: Michelle Watson, Aisling Driver (Louise Bourke), Grainne Walsh, Stacey Nesbitt, Ciara Smith, Joanne Ennis, Jessica Dillon, Lisa Murphy (Edel Doherty). Aisling Cusack, Laura Traynor, Sarah O Donoghue
Referee: Michelle O Neill. Assistants: Darren Ennis and Rory Murphy
Attendance: 110 (Estimated)
Fixture: Sunday September 8th
FAI Womens Senior Cup Quarter Final
Shamrock Rovers v Wexford Youths Women AFC @2pm in AUL, Clonshaugh