Wexford Youths U19s  1 – 1  Waterford U-19s

Opening goalscorer Sean Maguire

The young Blues travelled to Wexford to play their first game of the new National U-19 League and, having lead since the 30th minute, were within moments of gaining all three points, as their hosts scored in the 90th minute to equalize.

Blues manager Tommy Griffin set-out a 4-4-2 attacking formation with Sean Maguire and Russell Quirke up front, and a midfeld four of Alan Rhodes, Jason Keane, Conor Coad and Jack Doherty. Captain Adam Potter, Thomas Whitty, Conor Acheson and Ethan Butler made up the back line. Disappointingly there was no place in the starting eleven for Craig Keane as many supporters were looking forward to seeing him in action at this level.

Both teams started nervously and the defences quickly gained control of the game, with Whitty and Acheson for Waterford and Duffy and Sinnott for Wexford taking command, and neither goalkeeper, Sean Barron nor Sean Allen, were overly tested at this point. But the young Blues gradually gained control in the middle and on 30 minutes Sean Maguire opened the scoring with a low shot, following good work by Jack Doherty, and the visitors lead 1-0 at half time.

Waterford opened the second half with Sean Whitty in goal replacing the injured Barron, and Whitty had a fine second half. Both teams were trying hard to open the game but defences snuffed out the chances with Lehane and Timmy Dwyer defending very well for Wexford. On 68 minutes Rhodes was replaced by Aidan McGrath, and seven minutes later David Cooley replaced Coad, but the changes didn’t disrupt the visiting side, as they held their slender one goal lead right up to the 90th minute when Wexford equalised through Dwyer, and the Blues had to be happy with one point instead of three in their first league outing.

The Waterford players on this display will now realise this is a higher level that needs full concentration, a high tempo and constant involvement in the game, being available to help their team-mates and with fast accurate passing and quick thinking. Many a Blues move was stopped by the fast-thinking of the Wexford defence. United’s next Under-19 Elite League game takes place at the RSC at 2pm on Sunday 4th Sept, which will give supporters their first chance to see this new young Blues side playing at home.

Waterford: Sean Barron, Adam Potter (capt), Ethan Butler, Thomas Whitty, Conor Acheson, Jason Keane, Conor Coad, Alan Rhodes, Sean McGuire, Russell Quirke, Jack Doherty – subs: Craig Keane, Sean Whitty, Nathan West, Robbie Burke, David Cooley, Rían Clancy, Aidan McGrath.
Wexford: Sean Allen, Craig McCabe, AJ Lehane, Ben Duffy, Ian Sinnott, Timmy Dwyer, Rioghan Crosbie, Jamie Fox, Dale Galway, Gary Delaney, David Miller – subs: Eric Banville, Richard Jeffers, Aaron Kinsella, Rajiv Kumar, Sam Simpson, Joseph Barry, Peter Goldsmith.

Captains and Officials before the game (photo: John Douglas)

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