Mindful that any slip- up would allow second place Monkstown back into the title race, manager Fraser Rothwell named a strong starting side for the clash at a sun- kissed Astro Active Centre. Graham Hill took up his customary position in goal, with Andrew Rothwell, Clive Rothwell, Keith Ogilvie and Martin Veitch making up the back four. There was a new- look midfield, as Kieran Costello found himself on the right, with Roy Chapman in the centre and David Simmons on the left. The changes continued up front, with Daithí Medcalf and Jason Rothwell joined by Glenn Chapman on his return from injury.
This was the home side's first competitive outing in a month, and the first half performance against the league's second from bottom side showed. It was a close, sometimes physical contest with a number of chances for both sides. Glenn Chapman had an early chance for the Wexford men; a free for the Dubliners close to the right- hand sideline was intercepted by Jason Rothwell, who spotted his team- mate inside the circle and away from the defensive cover. Though quickly closed down, Chapman got a shot in which was kicked away by the 'keeper.
The northside Dublin men then entered somewhat of a purple patch, their best chance coming when a cross from the left found a St. Brendan's forward unmarked in front of Graham Hill's goal. However, it overshot its intended recipient and Martin Veitch scrambling across was able to shepherd it wide. The men in red hit three further wides in this period and earned a long corner before Fraser Rothwell made a number of adjustments to settle the ship. Glenn Chapman made way for Liam Jowett, while Jonathon Rothwell came on for Costello.
Shortly before the break Enniscorthy's patience was rewarded with some sustained pressure on the St. Brendan's goal, which yielded two short corners and a long corner. While these yielded no results, a follow- up attack by the Slaneysiders displayed some serious intent. Simmons took a free on the left deep inside the St. Brendan's half, which found Medcalf just outside the circle. Dribbling at an angle, the FCJ Bunclody pupil spotted Jowett hovering close to the penalty spot. A pass to the left found his team- mate, who shot for goal but was denied by the swiftly advancing 'keeper.
The second half continued where the first left off, as Enniscorthy continued to dominate but found it difficult to break down a stubborn defence. The Dubliners were also dangerous on occasion; within the first five minutes of the half a break down the centre had to be scrambled over the sideline by Andrew Rothwell as the Wexford defence was badly stretched.
Still, the league leaders were in need of a goal- and eventually it came. Roy Chapman stole the ball in midfield, then passed diagonally left to his brother Glenn, who drove into the circle. He spotted Jowett to the left, who had spotted that the St. Brendan's keeper was off his line and had left the far post vulnerable. His shot was met by Costello who was able to nick the ball into the net and open his account for the club.
Further chances came for the home side, the best of which came from a Costello free close to the intersection of the right sideline and the endline. His ball found Roy Chapman at the edge of the circle; some quick thinking found Jowett in a similar position to that which resulted in the opening goal, but he was unable to get the deflection which would have made the points secure.
However, Enniscorthy held on for the deserved three points and await the visit of Pembroke Wanderers on Saturday.
Squad: Graham Hill; P.J. Pierce; Keith Ogilvie; Clive Rothwell (c); Andrew Rothwell; David Simmons; Roy Chapman; Jonathon Rothwell; Jason Rothwell; Robbie Walshe; Kieran Costello; Ivan Rothwell; Liam Jowett; Martin Veitch; Glenn Chapman; Greg Hawkins; Rory Maguire; Nick Peare; Daithí Medcalf.
Click here to see photos from the game.
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