Kerry FC played their second home game in two weeks on Friday evening against Wexford FC. Kerry came into the fixture after a tough 2-0 loss at the hands of Bray Wanderers last Friday and wanted to do everything to get back on track. Wexford came into the game on a tough run of form themselves winning just one of the last six games. With both teams on similar form, this game was sure to be end-to-end.
Kerry’s game last week was a tail of two halves. They played particularly good football and had some great chances to take the lead in the first half, but the second half was a totally different story. They really went into their shell in the second half and allowed Bray to play around them and create some good opportunities before scoring two goals to seal the win for the away side. After last week’s game, Kerry FC manager, Billy Dennehy was quite pleased with how the team played overall throughout the match and said ahead of the game against Wexford that when they start games in a competitive way as they have throughout the last few weeks, they always give themselves a chance.
Kerry have yet to win a game at home this season, and with the scorcher of an evening that it was back in Mounthawk Park, the squad would be hoping that the home fans would have something to cheer about besides the 99’s and sun tans.
The game started off a close affair with a couple of chances for both sides. The first chance came for the visitors after just three minutes. A good piece of dribbling out on the right wing from Reece Webb who found the space to put a dangerous cross into the box was headed just over by Danny Furlong. After Wexford’s opening opportunity, Kerry struggled to create much but were competing to the best of their ability. Wexford had been shut down a bit since their opening chance and Kerry were starting to create a few chances of their own.
Kerry’s first chance came just after the twenty-minute mark, it started with a breakaway from inside their own half from Nathan Gleeson who carried the ball up the pitch. Gleeson backheeled it inside to Sean McGrath who took his shot from some distance, and it unfortunately sailed over the bar.
Kerry were on top for this five-minute period of the game and another opportunity came for the Kingdom this time at the fault of Wexford goalkeeper, Noel Heffernan who’s kickout was misplaced and landed straight to the feet of Sean McGrath. McGrath played the ball to his right to Nathan Gleeson who was running onto it and his effort just got away from him and went wide of the right post.
Despite the bit of pressure from the home side, it would be the traveling team who would take the lead. A cross from the right side of the box from Aaron Dobbs bobbled through and somehow made its way to the back post to Danny Furlong who was all alone to slot it away and put Wexford 1-0 up.
Things would worsen for the Kingdom as they would go 2-0 down just eight minutes later. A good piece of passing play from Danny Furlong and Aaron Dobbs which saw a one-two create a bit of space for Dobbs to get a shot off and it slowly trickled into the bottom right corner of the Kerry FC goal passing Aaron O’Sullivan. Kerry would have a big mountain to climb to get back into this in the second half.
Wexford started the second half as they finished the first. Just four minutes after the restart, a long pass up the pitch was headed wayward by Sam Aladesanusi back towards his own goal and into Danny Furlong who hit the ball on the half-volley and flew past Aaron O’Sullivan to make it 3-0. Kerry were showing shades of their second-half performance from last week. They had completely gone into their shell again and were finding it extremely hard to get out of their own half.
This was evident again just ten minutes later when Wexford made it four. A corner for Wexford was taken by James Crawford on the right side. His low precise cross was met by a near post flick from Aaron Dobbs who at this stage was on for a hattrick. Wexford continued to mount pressure on Kerry and showed no signs of stopping even though the game was done and dusted. The fifth went in with just eighteen minutes remaining to increase humiliation on the home team. A pass into the path of Graham O’Reilly was dispossessed by Aaron Dobbs who had all the time in the world to place it past O’Sullivan and seal his hattrick.
Kerry had a couple of slight opportunities later in the game with fresh legs on the pitch from the likes of Kennedy Amechi and Stephen McCarthy entering the pitch, but this was only allowed by a very well set up Wexford side who had taken the foot off the gas with the game essentially finished.
Just before the referee on the night Marc Lynch could blow the final whistle, Wexford would add another. Substitute Conor Levingston whipped in a corner again from the right side and was met by Aaron Dobbs once again who scored his fourth of the night and really put the final nail in the coffin. After that goal, time was called, and it finished 6-0 to Wexford FC Kerry are back on the road next week as they make the long trip to Donegal to take on Finn Harps. They will need to put this heavy defeat behind them quickly to really move on and sure up the back line again. A trip to Donegal will be a tough one, but a game that they need to get right.
Kerry FC Team:
30. Aaron O’sullivan, 2. Rob Vasiu, 18. Samuel Aladesanusi, 15. Kevin Williams (C), 23. Ronan Teahen, 17. Nathan Gleeson, 22. Cian Barrett, 13. Togor Silong, 10. Leo Gaxha, 9. Ryan Kelliher, 7. Sean Mcgrath.
Subs: Callan Scully, Stephen Mccarthy, Matt Keane, Alex Ainscough, Cianan Cooney, Graham O’reilly, Kennedy Amechi.
Wexford FC Team:
18. Noel Heffernan, 3. Benjamin Lynch, 6. Ethan Boyle (C), 8. Brandon McCann, 10. Aaron Dobbs (Goal ‘40, ‘59, ‘72, ‘90), 11. Mark Hanratty, 13. James Crawford, 15. Danny Furlong (Goal ‘32 ‘49), 16. Corban Piper, 17. Kian Corbally, 20. Reece Webb.
Subs: Colm Cox, Darragh Levingston, Hugh Douglas, Karl Chambers, Matthew Dunne, Conor Levingston