Longford Town 2-4 Wexford Youths
Composed second-half strikes from Andy Mulligan and Paul Murphy gave Wexford Youths a massive lift as they avenged their opening-night defeat to Longford Town with a convincing display to take all three points from the City Calling Stadium.
The deserved victory moves Shane Keegan’s side out of the relegation places in the Premier Division table to leave Longford rooted to the bottom.
Though Youths started positively, they found themselves a goal down after six minutes.
Longford striker David O’Sullivan chased down midfielder Kealan Dillon’s through ball with Youth defender Ryan Delaney, stretching to get a toe on it that sent the ball past advancing goalkeeper Graham Doyle and into the corner of the net.
If the Youths’ defender was at fault for the goal, redemption arrived quickly as Delaney availed of a goalkeeping mistake at the other end to equalise six minutes later.
It’s a moment Longford keeper Ian Molloy, on his full league debut, will want to forget, as the 19-year-old flapped at Jonny Bonner’s free kick in from the left. The ball dropped into the path of Delaney, who bundled it home.
Molloy restored his confidence with an acrobatic tip over save from Danny Furlong’s header from a Murphy cross on 20 minutes.
But the young keeper was left stranded on his line from Bonner’s resulting corner as Chris Kenny was afford the simple task of forcing the ball home at the back post to give Youths the lead.
The dominant side, Youths wasted an opening to extend their lead on 33 minutes. Furlong was negligently marked in the area from Eric Molloy’s left-flank cross, but planted his free header straight at Molloy.
Doubtless with a choice word or two from manager Tony Cousins’ ringing in their ears from the interval, Longford had a bit more about them on the resumption.
But they were undone by the goal of the game on 54 minutes as Youths extended their lead.
Murphy won the ball to find Eric Molloy, who in turn passed it on to Bonner. The midfielder then threaded a delightful ball through for the run of winger Mulligan, who drew 'keeper Ian Molloy before confidently rifling the ball past him to the net.
Longford hit back to reduce the deficit with their best passage of play in the game on 72 minutes.
Mark Hughes put O’Sullivan free on the right and his low cross was turned into his own net by Gary Delaney.
But Youths had the final word when Murphy showed great composed to collect the rebound after his initial shot came back off the post to shoot home their fourth goal on 85 minutes.
Longford Town: Ian Molloy; Mark Hughes, Pat Flynn, Tristan Noack-Hofmann, Conor Powell; DonCowan (Kaleem Simon 57), Philip Gannon, Kealan Dillon (John McKeown 68), Kevin O’Connor; David O’Sullivan, Josh O’Hanlon.
Wexford Youths: Graham Doyle; Craig McCabe, Gary Delaney, Ryan Delaney, Aidan Friel; Eric Molloy (Conor O’Keeffe 90+1), Jonny Bonner, Chris Kenny, Andy Mulligan (Conor Whittle 89); Danny Furlong (Shane Dunne 68), Paul Murphy.
Referee: James McKell (Tipperary).