Women draw with Shels at Tolka

A battling performance resulted in a hard earned point for Wexford FC Women at Tolka Park on Saturday, their recent good run now at five wins and a draw in the last six games played. Wexford remain in fifth place but have now pulled to within two points of third placed Galway.

With Player of the Month Ceola Bergin not risked due to a niggling hamstring, Leah McGrath made her Women’s starting debut. At fifteen years of age the striker is the youngest player to ever start for the club.

New signing Alyssa White was named on the bench but would come on later for an impressive first outing.

The hosts were the better team in a first half which was played mainly in the Wexford half. The Slaneysiders found it hard to get their passing game going and were on the backfoot for most of the 45 minutes. Despite that the Reds were unable to create many goal scoring opportunities, Jemma Quinn’s left foot strike in the 18th minute their best opening. Alex Kavanagh and Roma McLoughlin tested Jayne Merren from distance but the young keeper was not to be beaten. Anything fired into her from the wings in the air was brilliantly caught, the Wicklow native dominating her box.

Wexford went from three at the back with two wingers dropping when needed to four at the back in the second half and that enabled them to get further up the pitch. Chances soon followed, Teegan Lynch almost opening the scoring in the 49th minute when her right foot shot came back off the crossbar. A follow up shot from Ellen Molloy was saved by McQuillan.

Alyssa White came on in the 53rd minute for her League of Ireland debut and the American was straight into the thick of the action, firing a right foot shot which the Shels keeper did well to save. The Dubliners responded to Wexford’s strong second half showing and got back into the game, Kate McCarn heading over in the 67th minute. The Reds striker shot wide shortly after from a great position.

Jayne Merren kept Wexford in the game when she saved from McLoughlin in the 71st minute. Kylie Murphy could only shoot straight at the keeper in the 73rd after a good cross in from White.

Both teams had great chances to win it at the death, Jess Gargan’s back heel hitting the post and Merren saving a well struck follow up shot. Kylie Murphy, free at the back post, volleyed a left foot effort at goal in the 93rd minute but McQuillan saved.

Wexford FC Women: Merren, Russell, Tuthill, Doherty, Sinnott (c), Conlon, Clancy, Lynch (White 54′), Molloy (Fitzpatrick-Ryan 86′), McGrath (Jarrett 86′), Walsh (Murphy 46′) Subs Not Used: Williams, Nix, Rossiter

Shelbourne FC: McQuillan, Keenan, Slattery (c), Doyle (O’Mahony 74′), Gargan, O’Rourke (Gray 60′), Kavanagh (Graham 86′), Healy (Dodd 74′), McLoughlin, Quinn (McCarn 60′), Pierce Subs Not Used: Magee, Hannon, McCarthy, O’Brien

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