League Report: Wexford 2 - 3 UCD

Jake Doyle

Jake Doyle Credit: Martin Doherty (ETPhotos)

UCD edged a five-goal thriller at Ferrycarrig Park to boost their promotion push with a wonderfully entertaining 2-3 win over Wexford at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday night.

Niall Holohan headed UCD ahead early on with Cian O’Malley swiftly equalising with a near-replica goal from a corner.

Jake Doyle’s stunning volley restored UCD’s advantage before, Adam Verdon, off the bench, tapped in number three.  Wexford substitute, teenager, Cian Curtis halved the deficit in injury time, but the visitors held on to win.

In a clash of fourth against third, Wexford were the first to work either goalkeeper as Mikie Rowe’s clever dink found Thomas Oluwa six yards out with UCD’s Kian Moore alertly gathering his header.

The Students then struck. Top scorer, Ciaran Behan’s deflected shot went behind off Mark Hanratty. Behan swung a tantalising corner in which the bulldozing Holohan raced onto, comfortably heading home as home netminder Owen Mason was rendered helpless by the statuesque defending in front of him.

Losing James Crawford to injury, from the set piece, rubbed salt in Wexford wounds.

Yet they levelled within seven minutes. Similarly to UCD’s opener, Sean Brennan conceded a corner. From the left, Rowe whipped it in, O’Malley enjoying the freedom of Ferrycarrig Park to flick a header past Moore into the corner.

UCD though showed why they are unbeaten in six with an instant reply.

A well-worked passing move saw scorer Holohan fizzing a pass wide left into Adam Wells’ feet. He nonchalantly chipped the ball into Doyle’s run down the left of the box.

Doyle’s beautiful first touch bore him down on goal before he thunderously volleyed the ball into the top right corner, a spectacular strike as UCD retook the lead.

In an absorbing contest, Rowe flashed a free kick narrowly off-target with Oluwa and Wexford captain, Ethan Boyle close to connecting with it.

Doyle nearly doubled up when a neat turn eliminated Boyle from the equation on the edge of the box. On the spin, the number twenty-nine zipped his effort past the left-hand post with Mason stranded.

Wexford’s purple-shirted players began the second half purposefully with Kian Corbally, Rowe and Hanratty combining nicely with clever passing exchanges. Trying to locate Oluwa, though, proved tricky as UCD’s defence was well marshalled by away skipper, Eanna Clancy.

Indeed, UCD had the next big opening when Brennan’s scooped free kick found Wells at the back post. Unlike Doyle, Wells wellied his attempt over the crossbar.

Oluwa then scampered away down the left, his dangerous cross almost locating Rowe in the middle. A miraculous combination of Moore and Clancy prevented the Wexford attacker from profiting.

Behan next bore down on goal, after a defensive mix-up with Mason spreading himself expertly to repel his effort.

Wexford’s reprieve was only temporary. Behan cleverly fired the resulting corner into Holohan’s feet six yards out. His close-range scuff deflected off a purple shirt, sitting up perfectly for substitute, Adam Verdon, on for Doyle, to stab home from on the goal-line.

A crafty Wexford set piece saw home replacement, Darragh Levingston tap short to Rowe who rattled a low strike just wide with Moore scrambling.

Wexford went for it but were almost undone on the counterattack when Verdon released Danu Kinsella-Bishop. Having run half the field, he pulled the trigger only to see a heroic Ben Lynch block inside the box.

UCD came closer to a fourth shortly after as substitute, Colin Bolton soared through only to see Mason bat his goal-bound hit away from danger.

Three minutes into injury time, Wexford got a lifeline when Curtis, another youngster, rifled in a crisp strike, cueing a nervy finale.  

Oluwa slung one last cross in, Clancy cleared it and that was that as the Students move into second place in the First Division ahead of Finn Harps, albeit on goal difference.

Both teams are on their travels next weekend as Wexford face Longford Town at Bishopsgate. UCD are at the Markets Field the night before to play Treaty United.

Wexford: Owen Mason; Ben Lynch, Cian O’Malley, Ethan Boyle ©, Mikie Rowe, Kian Corbally, Thomas Oluwa, Mark Hanratty, Luka Lovic (Darragh Levingston 55), James Crawford (Kaylem Harnett 14), Reece Webb (Cian Curtis 74).

Subs not used: Alex Moody (gk), Carl Lennox, Brandon McCann, Oisin McDonagh, Robbie O’Toole.

Booked: Kaylem Harnett (61), Ethan Boyle (69), Kian Corbally (81)

UCD: Kian Moore; Alex Dunne, Adam Wells, Eanna Clancy ©, Sean Brennan (Colin Bolton 88), Michael Raggett, Ciaran Behan (Hugh Parker 78), Donal Higgins, Niall Holohan, Danu Kinsella-Bishop, Jake Doyle (Adam Verdon 51).

Subs not used: Dara Kavanagh (gk), Harry Curtis, Daniel McCarthy, Sam Norval, Cathal McCarthy, Adam Brennan.

Booked: Donal Higgins (28), Sean Brennan (70)

Referee: Mark Moynihan.

Attendance: 570.

extratime.com Player of the Match:  Niall Holohan (UCD).