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North points Rovers in the right direction as Wexford find the early going tough

Shane Keegan’s newly-promoted side were in the game for long spells before Gary McCabe’s late penalty.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

DANNY NORTH’S SECOND goal of the season and a penalty from Gary McCabe saw Shamrock Rovers come through a tricky night’s work against Wexford Youths to win 2-0 in Tallaght Stadium.

Wexford arrived having lost their opener to Longford last week, but after a slow start from both teams it was Shane Keegan’s men who settled quicker.

Chris Kenny’s industrious work in the centre of the park kept the visitors competitive, and his pressure to force Gary McCabe into a mistake led to Danny Furlong testing Barry Murphy after 25 minutes.

Some neat play from McCabe and Dean Clarke, who was making his home debut, was probably the highlight of the early stages for Rovers, and just after the half hour mark they should have been ahead, but Brandon Miele’s poor first touch meant the chance was wasted.

The second half started with a double chance for Danny Furlong, first forcing Murphy into a smart save and then heading over from John Bonner’s corner-kick.

Brandon Miele Brandon Miele reacts after missing a chance during Shamrock Rovers' 2-0 win over Wexford Youths. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

And the visitors continued to dominate until Miele produced another sublime free kick after an hour that allowed Danny North to score.

Doyle managed to scamper across his line to stop the ball from going into the top corner, but it bounced back out and North arrived to blast in.

The goal certainly came against the run of play, and once Wexford had regrouped they again impressed, and when Paul Murphy dispossessed David O’Connor just outside the box he should have done better than shooting at the advancing Barry Murphy.

They had further half chances to level in a game they will feel they should have taken something from, but when Lee Grace brought down Mikey Drennan in the box with three minutes left to play, Gary McCabe tucked away the spot-kick to wrap up the points.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Murphy, Madden, Blanchard, O’Connor, G Brennan, McCabe, K Brennan (Cregg, 81), Miele, Drennan, North (Shaw, 74), D Clarke (T Clarke, 90). SUBS: Hyland, Webster, Cornwall, Cregg, Shaw, T Clarke, Purdy.

WEXFORD YOUTHS: Doyle, McCabe (Wall, 80), R Delaney, G Delaney, Grace, Furlong, Molloy, Friel, Kenny (Ledwith, 80), Bonner (Mulligan, 80), Murphy. SUBS: Wall, Pearce, Mulligan, English, Ledwith, Last, Connor.

 Referee: Ben Connolly.

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