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ūüĒü days down in Tom Murphy's 300km in 30 days challenge! 100km in the bag, another 200km to come! Tom is hugely gr‚Ķ https://t.co/DXRcWpjeEb

Wexford travelled up the east coast yesterday to take on title chasing Drogheda in the final away match of the season. Although the away side competed well throughout a tight hard fought game, goals in each half from Derek Prendergast and Mark Doyle were enough to secure three points for the hosts and push United into top spot with one game left to play in the First Division. 

The Wexford line up saw a starting debut for Kieran Murphy after making 3 sub appearances for the first team this year and the young striker impressed again at United Park despite been paired up against the hugely experienced Hughie Douglas. Murphy was one of two changes from the side that lost to Cobh two weeks ago with Jack Doherty returning from suspension in place of Patrick O'Sullivan and Karl Manahan (suspended).

It was a very open start to the game with both sides having excellent chances early on, first Karl Fitzsimons was unfortunate to see his right foot shot in the box blocked by Douglas within two minutes of kick off before Chris Lyons blasted over from three yards with the very next attack for United. The opening goal arrived in the 19th minute, Douglas with a towering header from a corner to set up an unmarked Prendergast who nodded home from close range. There was an expectation Droheda (the second highest scoring team in the First Division) would kick on from there and dominate but that never really materialised although Lyons almost managed to score in the 25th minute after dispossessing Conor Crowley on the edge of the Wexford box but fired wide. Wexford dug in after that close call and made it very difficult for the hosts, Murphy in particular was excellent in winning possession high up the pitch to relieve any spells of pressure. While defensively solid, Wexford found it hard going to create any clear cut chances however and went in a goal down at the break.

The visitors began the second half on the front foot and forced the home side to defend more and more, Drogheda at times looking a little nervy with so much at stake for them but keeper David Odumosu was rarely troubled. Tom Murphy in the Wexford goal also saw very little danger come his way with James Carroll and Jay Nwanze winning most of the aerial duels. 

The second goal to secure the points for Drogheda arrived in the 80th minute, Mark Doyle capitalising on a loose pass at the back and finding the corner of the net with a fierce right foot shot from the edge of the box. Wexford battled on looking for a goal their endeavour deserved and Nwanze had a great opportunity in the final minute to get it but unfortunately headed over from close range.

The final whistle saw celebrations breakout amongst the small attendance in United Park as news filtered through of an injury time winner for Galway against Bray at the Carlisle Grounds, the result seeing Drogheda leapfrog the Seagulls to top the table going into the final set of fixtures on Tuesday evening.

For Wexford it's been a frustrating season, the departures of Kaleem Simon and Paul Cleary combined with season ending injuries to Conor English and Jack Larkin been major setbacks after an encouraging start.

One final game to come with the visit of play off chasing Longford Town to Ferrycarrig Park on Tuesday.

Wexford FC: Tom Murphy, Dan Tobin (c), Jay Nwanze, James Carroll, Kevin McEvoy, Conor Crowley, Karl Fitzsimons, Charlie Smith, Azeez Yusuff (Malike Hill Benrouguibi 84'), Jack Doherty and Kieran Murphy (Patrick O'Sullivan 66').  Subs Not Used: Jack Lydon and Kristian Crawford.

Drogheda United: David Odumosu, James Brown, Conor Kane, Derek Prendergast, Hughie Douglas, Chris Lyons (James Clarke 58'), Jake Hyland, Mark Doyle, Brandon Bermingham, Luke Heaney (Adam Wixted 83') and Mark Hughes.  Subs Not Used: Ross Treacy, Jack Tuite, Richie O' Farrell, Frank Cabraley and Ryan O'Shea.

Check out the match highlights below:

 

 

 

 

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