#STRONGERTOGETHER

Wexford FC U15 | ⚽️Sean Fitzpatrick's cracking free kick from this afternoon's win over @shelsfc at Ferrycarrig Park! https://t.co/gGuuYeU6z1

Title chasing Drogheda put Wexford to the sword and scored six without reply at United Park on Friday to go two points behind Shelbourne. With Athlone drawing, Wexford are now six points adrift at the bottom of the First Division table with three League games remaining this season.

With Thomas Croke suspended and Darragh O'Connor and Andy Mulligan injured (as well as the recent departures of Danny Furlong and Danny Doyle), Brian O'Sullivan had to make more changes ahead of this difficult game against the top scorers in the division. U17 attacking midfielder Brody Murphy made his Wexford FC senior debut, starting the game on the left wing. Just as in last week's FAI Cup defeat in Derry, Andrew O'Connor began in midfield alongside Shane Griffin. 

Drogheda took the lead after a scrappy opening 18 minutes, Chris Lyons tapping in a rebound after a good Corey Chambers initial save. Two minutes later and the lead was doubled when Daibhid Corish stretched out a leg to stop a pullback pass from the end line only to find the corner of his own net, the hosts 2-0 up despite a quiet start. Sean Roche almost made an instant reply for Wexford with a powerful right foot shot which narrowly missed the top corner. Chambers continued to be the busier of the two keepers though and pulled off a fantastic double save to deny Mark Doyle in the 27th minute. O'Sullivan made a few tactical changes to try stem the flow of Drogheda attacks, Stephen Lawless making his League debut slotting into midfield (O'Connor moved to left back and Darryl Walsh shifted over to centre back in place of the subbed Corish). Wexford pressed forward when they could and looked dangerous down the right but there was a lack of quality in the final pass. The hosts 2-0 up at the break.

Drogheda were fast out of the blocks in the second half and had the points wrapped up by the 51st minute, Doyle crossing to Stephen Meeney for an easy close range finish. Chris Kenny and Nika Arevadze replaced Conor English and Brody Murphy in the 57th and 64th minute but the changes made no impact on the game, United now hunting for more goals with Wexford on the ropes. Meeney added a fourth in the 74th minute, again from five yards while Chris Lyons added a fifth minutes later, the pick of the goals with an unstoppable right foot finish into the corner from the edge of the box. Emmet Nugent and Shane Griffin both had long range shots late on but neither troubled Gratzer in the Drogheda goal. In the 80th minute, Wexford were reduced to ten men when Lee Costello tugged back Lyons who was straight through on goal just inside the penalty box (Sean Callan was also dismissed in the 80th minute in Wexford's last visit to United Park earlier this season). Lyons converted from the spot to complete his hat-trick and finish the scoring on a night to forget for the away side. 

Wexford FC: Corey Chambers, Paddy Cahill (c), Lee Costello, Daibhid Corish, Darryl Walsh, Shane Griffin, Andrew O'Connor, Emmet Nugent, Brody Murphy, Conor English and Sean Roche.  Subs: Chris Kenny, Stephen Lawless, Nika Arevadaze, Andrew Farrell and Jason McGuire.

Brody Murphy (left) making his Wexford FC senior debut vs Drogheda.

CURRENT STANDINGS

League of Ireland First Division

    Pld +/- Pts
8 Galway United 25 -7 22
9 Athlone Town 26 -31 17
10 Wexford FC 26 -42 11

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    Pld +/- Pts
1 Peamount United 17 57 47
2 Shelbourne FC 16 50 39
3 Wexford Youths Women 16 28 32

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