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Armagh 3-08 Wexford 3-08

Updated: Saturday, 23 Feb 2013 20:52 | Comments

Gavin McParland was Armagh's goal hero as they reeled in their Leinster opponents
Gavin McParland was Armagh's goal hero as they reeled in their Leinster opponents

Armagh came from 11 points behind to salvage a 3-08 to 3-08 draw with Wexford in their Allianz Football League clash at the Athletic Grounds.

Wexford had first half goals from Paddy Byrne, Redmond Barry (pen) and Shane Roche, with sub Gavin McParland hitting the net for Armagh.

It was 3-3 to 1-1 at the break, and McParland completed a hat-trick of goals - one of those from a penalty.

And it was another sub, Stefan Campbell, who hit the levelling point in the 73rd minute. 

An inexperienced Armagh defence was badly exposed in the opening stages, and was sliced wide open for Paddy Byrne’s sixth minute goal.

Craig Doyle made the running, and Byrne slipped in behind the cover to collect and beat Philip McEvoy with a low finish.

There was worse to come for the Orchard men, when Aidan Forker, with a clumsy challenge on Redmond Barry, conceded a 16th minute penalty.

Barry stepped up to smash the kick home and the Leinster men led by six.

Daithi Waters and Doyle provided the midfield platform as Wexford continued to take the game to the home side, and further rearguard calamity resulted in a third goal on 21 minutes.

This time it was Shane Roche who slipped in beyond the last defender to receive Ben Brosnan’s delightfully flighted delivery and finish clinically to the bottom corner.

Armagh did earn themselves some respite with a brilliant 34th minute goal from substitute Gavin McParland, but at the interval, they trailed by 3-3 to 1-1.

Armagh should have had a second goal early in the second half, but Stefan Forker blazed over the bar with an open goal at his mercy

Forker added another score to inspire hope among his colleagues, but it was a short-lived period of supremacy, and Wexford went back on the attack for Brosnan to steer three frees between the posts.

Midway through the second half, the visitors led by a commanding nine points margin, but a mistake by Joey Wadding, who had been a defensive rock all evening, allowed McParland in for his second goal, another spectacular finish that flew into the top corner of the net.

And McParland completed his hat-trick in the 59th minute, slotting home a penalty awarded for a foot block, the deficit now down to a manageable three points.

Another substitute, James Lavery, was making a big impact around midfield, hel;ping his side to dominate possession in the final 15 minutes, during which they outscored their opponents by 2-3 to nil.

And it was a third introduction from the bench, Stefan Campbell, who emerged as the dramatic late match-winner, slotting the stoppage time leveller which gave his side the most unlikely of draws

Armagh: P McEvoy, M Shields, J Donnelly, D McKenna, K McKeever, A Forker (0-1), B Loughran (0-1), S Harold, K Toner, C Rafferty, N McConville, E Rafferty (0-1), E McVerry, S Forker (0-4, 3f), B Mallon.

Subs: J Lavery for Harold (23), G McParland (3-0), 1 pen)for McConville (27), B Donaghy for McVerry (33), K Dyas for Mallon (52), S Campbell (0-1) for Toner (67)

Wexford: A Masterson, B Malone, G Molloy, R Tierney, L Chin, J Wadding, A Flynn, D Waters, C Doyle, M Furlong, B Brosnan (0-5, 4f), P Byrne (1-0), S Roche (1-1, 0-1f), R Barry (1-0, pen), PJ Banville (0-2).

Subs: R Quinlivan for Doyle (42), J Holmes for Furlong (54), D Murphy for Flynn (66)

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