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Wexford FC RT @byrne_padraig: Also in tomorrow’s @Wexford_People is a fascinating story of a teenager who is swapping his native Odense in Denmark to…

Spoils shared at the AUL between Wexford and hosts Shelbourne in the first pre-season fixture of 2020, 1-1 the final scoreline. The game saw six Wexford FC debuts: Dan Tobin, Cian Kavanagh, Tom Murphy, Craig Giles, Karl Fitzsimons and Patrick O'Sullivan all named in the starting eleven. Lee Costello and Conor English were the only two names from last year's squad that appeared in the first half (Sean Roche and Brody Murphy came on in the second half). Seven trialists were also on show in Wexford colours. New signings Malike Hill Benrouguibi, Azeez Yussuf and Conor Crowley missed the game with slight knocks. 

The game was played in horrendous conditions throughout, strong winds and lashing rain coinciding with the midday kick off. Wexford had the wind advantage in the first half and started the stronger, Conor English and Cian Kavanagh with blocked attempts early on. Keeper Tom Murphy was rarely troubled in the first 45, Dan Tobin, Craig Giles and Lee Costello all combining well in the back four. Kavanagh, Fitzsimons and O'Sullivan linked up well in midfield while English starred upfront with intelligent running and support play.

The opening goal arrived just before the break, Wexford's number 9 trialist running onto a long ball forward and finding the back of the net with a cool composed finish after turning his man in the box.

Both sides made numerous changes in the second half and the flow of the game never really settled. Shelbourne did have the better of the exchanges in the second 45 though and forced two good saves from Wexford's trialist second half keeper after the restart. He could do nothing about the equaliser however, doing well to parry a powerful drive only to see the ball fall to the feet of ex Wexford FC striker Aaron Dobbs who made no mistake with his close range finish in the 53rd minute. The hosts continued to push on for the winner but Wexford defended well in numbers and almost managed to retake the lead at the end, English with a fine strike from the edge of the box which was deflected over.

1-1 it ended, a positive start to the season which gets underway proper on February 21st, Wexford hosting UCD at Ferrycarrig Park. Next up however is Waterford at IT Carlow on Saturday, 18th January in our second pre-season game.

Wexford FC: T Murphy, Tobin (c), Costello, Trialist 1, Giles, Kavanagh, Fitzsimons, Trialist 2, O'Sullivan, Trialist 3 and English.  Subs: Roche, B Murphy, Benrougibi, Trialist 4, Trialist 5, Trialist 6 and Trialist 7.

Shelbourne FC: McCabe, O'Sullivan, O Brennan, L Byrne, O'Hanlon, McKenna, Deegan, Kabia, Farrell, Rooney and Kilduff.  Subs: Brady, Friel, Mutawee, O'Reilly, Lyons, Quinn, Poynton, Sheppard, Moore, Cetiner and Dobbs.

 

(Above) Sean Roche in action vs Shelbourne at the AUL, Dublin.

Click below to see our interview with Dan Tobin and Craig Giles after the game:

 

 

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