Wexford Youths -v- SD GalwayFri, Apr 27 2012
Wexford Youths will look to bounce back from their crushing defeat to rivals Waterford United when they host SD Galway on Friday night. (Kick-off 8pm)
Wexford Youths were tipped by most to be the basement side this season, and along with that unwanted title, they were also expected to be the whipping boys of the division. Eight games into the season and Wexford find themselves in a playoff spot, just five points behind the so-called shoe-ins for the title, Limerick.
Shane Keegan has transformed Youths’ fortunes this season. While many would have questioned their capabilities, a bold statement was made on the opening day as they sailed to victory by a six goal margin over south-east rivals Waterford. While many may have paid attention to the result, very few would have said they would have had the consistency to perform like that after an entire series of games. Hats off to the boys from Ferrycarrig Park – they have.
Wexford are highly organised and can even find the net to compliment their defensive efforts. Tom Elmes leads the scoring charts for the Youths while Shane Dempsey and Danny Furlong also look dangerous in front of goal. Youths will have to rediscover their scoring touch though; they have failed to score in their last two outings.
Following his side’s defeat to Waterford, manager Keegan said: “We can’t excuse our performances so we have been working very hard all week on the training ground to make the corrections we need to make and I think we are ready to put a big performance in on Friday night.”
His side had previously met SD Galway this season and Keegan knows it will be a tough test. “We were lucky to come away with a point against them, Longford were lucky to get a point against them – if we are below our best against them or in fact any team in this league at the moment we are going to be beaten so we need to put in a huge performance on Friday night to get something out of it.”
They will enter this tie without a number of key players however; Shane Dempsey is suspended while Danny Furlong, Shane and Brian Nolan all face late fitness tests ahead of Friday’s crucial encounter.
It has been a tough year for the newly branded SD Galway so far. Tony Mannion’s men have yet to muster a single win in the First Division this season and the fixtures do not get any easier for Devon as they take the long trip south to Wexford on Friday night.
Coming off the back of a home defeat to playoff contenders Athlone Town, one would imagine Devon will need to start becoming more adventurous if they want to pick up points, and in turn, distance themselves from the bottom of the league. If it weren’t for fellow Galway strugglers Mervue United, SD Galway would find themselves in a sub-league of their own, fighting among themselves for the relegation playoff spot.
SD’s problem is obvious for everyone to see. Scoring only five goals in eight games is always going to land you in trouble, let alone when you ship fourteen goals to your own opponents – six of those arrived via away defeats to Limerick and Finn Harps.
If anything can be said for Mannion’s men, it’s that they can rise to the occasion, having looked extremely solid in their well earned draw at home to table toppers Longford Town. Devon’s discipline record this season is nothing short of remarkable however. In just eight games, they have picked up twenty four yellow cards and four reds.
Nicky Curran, Eugene Greaney and Mikey Gilmore will all be missing for SD as they make the long trip to Wexford; it would appear that Mannion may have to produce a tactical master class if they are to come away with all three points.
Referee: Keith Callanan.
In April 2010, this exact fixture ended in controversial circumstances as Salthill were awarded the three points following the inclusion of Warren Broaders by Wexford Youths, despite his suspension. The game had ended 2-1 to Wexford.
The sides have met seven times in the First Division: Two wins for Wexford, two draws and three wins for Salthill.
Their last meeting in the league, ended in a 1-1 draw, following a late equaliser from Brian Gaffney.
Wexford Youths 4/7; Draw 5/2; SD Galway 9/2
A 2-0 win for Wexford.
Wexford Youths Injury News: Danny Furlong, Shane Nolan, Brian Nolan.
Wexford Youths Suspensions: Shane Dempsey.
SD Galway Injury News: Unavailable.
SD Galway Suspensions: Mikey Gilmore, Enda Curran, Eugene Greaney.
Andrew joined Extratime for the 2010 season and covers all the on-goings down in Limerick. Having first experienced the League of Ireland in 2002, Andrew became hooked, even at such an early age. He is currently studying English and New Media at the University of Limerick. You can contact him via Twitter @Cunneen92.