Date Time League Season
17 March 2023 6:00 pm LOI Men's First Division 2023

Match Report


Wexford pick up the points at home to Kerry

Goals in each half by Mark Hanratty and Brandon McCann secured all three points for Wexford on a damp St Patrick’s Day evening in Ferrycarrig Park.

Hanratty struck a beautiful volley off his left boot three minutes into the tie, Wexford pressed for a second but to Kerry’s credit they gave them a real battle for the remainder of the tie and will feel unlucky that Leo Gaxha’s goal came at the death.

Kerry came to life in the second half and looked to have been aggrieved not to receive a penalty for handball to pull a goal back, Wexford did grab their second to go three unbeaten as Brandon McCann fired a rocket from inside the area late on.

Kerry had the first attack of the game with Charlie Heffernan gathering a Jordan Hannafin cross, Wexford were able to build up an attack on the counter but a push in the back on Aaron Doran gave them the first chance to test the Kerry defence.

Darragh Levingston sent a deep free kick into the area, Ethan Boyle headed it back into a central area and Mark Hanratty hit a sweetly struck volley on his left leg that gave Wayne Guthrie no chance in the Kerry goal.

The hosts were building momentum and looked to add another in quick succession,Guthrie however claimed a corner, with Kerry countering well but strong defence by Wexford saw the chance come to nothing.

Chances were there for them to take Jordan Tallon crossed into the area it met the head of Aaron Dobbs but it went well wide, Dobbs should have doubled Wexford’s lead in the 17th minute, Hanratty carved the Kerry defence open with a terrific pass, but Guthrie saved well to deny Dobbs with the initial strike and the brother Shane cleared the danger inside the six yard box, it should have been 2-0 Wexford.

Leo Gaxha had the first Kerry shot on target after 20 minutes which Heffernan got down well to hold onto, three minutes later Nathan Gleeson forced Heffernan to save again as the Kingdom were playing a lot better.

But another dangerous Levingston free saw Hugh Douglas flash a header across the face of the Kerry goal but no one was there for Wexford to meet it and Kerry could breathe a sigh of relief.

With minutes left in the opening half James Crawford almost had the net bulging with a terrific left-footed free kick just outside the area but it hit the stancion and Kerry were living on a knife edge but were still a goal down.

Levingston had another free kick a minute later on the left-hand wing after a rash tackle by Sean Kennedy but his effort failed to cause any danger, as the minutes ticked by we went into the break on the same 1-0 scoreline.

The first chance of the second half went to the visitors, Jordan Tallon played a wayward pass across the Wexford backline, Kennedy was quick to spot the loose ball and was able to take possession before getting into the Wexford area striking a low shot that Hefferan tipped past the post.

Kerry were putting the hosts under pressure to start the opening half, Rob Vasiu was in the area but his strike was deflected out for a corner by Reece Webb, appeals just beforehand for a penalty for handball were dismissed by the referee and officials, Kevin Williams looked to have headed home from the corner but his header rippled the side netting.

After soaking up so much pressure in those early minutes Wexford on the hour mark thought they had struck a second goal as Jordan Adeyemo raced in for a 1v1 with Guthrie, but the assistant had his flag up as the ball trickled into the Kerry net.

Kerry appealed for another penalty as the weather worsened and were playing some attractive football, but again another set piece saw them undone, a header Douglas went back into the danger zone in the Kerry box, it fell to McCann inside the area and he steadied himself to take a touch before striking to the roof of the Kerry net for their second.

It was a dramatic ending as Leo Gaxha headed home in the 88th minute as Ryan Kelliher crossed into the area, the young Kerry forward got his head to send the ball past Heffernan in the Wexford goal.

Big three points for Wexford to aid their fight for promotion this season, for Kerry the best performance we have seen from them in the league and they will for sure not leave disappointed this evening as they gave Wexford a competitive outing.

Wexford FC

18Charlie Heffernan Goalkeeper
2Darragh Levingston 7 Midfielder
4Hugh Douglas Defender
5Ethan Boyle Defender
8Brandon McCann Midfielder 77'
10Aaron Dobbs 15 Forward
11Mark Hanratty Midfielder 3'
13James Crawford Defender
14Jordon Tallon 9 Defender 54'
20Reece Webb Defender
22Aaron Doran 16 Midfielder
1Colm Cox Goalkeeper
3Ben Lynch Midfielder
7Karl Chambers 2 Forward
9Jordan Adeyemo 14 Forward
12Matthew Dunne Defender
15Danny Furlong 10 Forward
16Corban Piper 22 Midfielder

Kerry FC

1Wayne Gutherie Goalkeeper
4Shane Gutherie 23 Defender
8Matt Keane 7 Midfielder
10Leo Gaxha Forward 88'
11Sean Kennedy 9 Midfielder 39'
14Andy Quaid 2 Midfielder
15Kevin Williams Defender
17Nathan Gleeson 28 Forward
18Samuel Aladesanusi Defender
24Jonathan Hannafin Defender
27Graham O’Reilly Midfielder
16Callan Scully Goalkeeper
2Rob Vasiu 14 Defender
6Alex Ainscough Midfielder
7Seán McGrath 8 Forward 71'
9Ryan Kelliher 11 Forward
13Togor Silong Midfielder
22Cian Barrett Midfielder
23Ronan Teahan 4 Midfielder
28Cian Brosnan 17 Forward
  • 94'

    Full time in Ferrycarrig Park as despite Gaxha's late header Wexford hang on to secure all three points

  • 90'

    Four minutes of added time the drama continues

  • 88'

    Leo Gaxha heads home a Kelliher cross and we have an entertaining finish now on our hands

  • 77'

    Second goal for Wexford as Brandon McCann gathers a possession from a corner inside the area and strikes to the roof of the net

  • 73'

    Final Change for Wexford as Danny Furlong replaces Dobbs

  • 71'

    Sean McGrath is just on and shouts at the referee for not giving Kerry a penalty and gets a booking

  • 70'

    Kerry the next to use their bench as Ronan Teahan and Sean McGrath are in to replace Shane Gutherie and Matt Keane

  • 67'

    Double change for Wexford as Corban Piper makes his first appearance in the league, he and Karl Chambers are in for Darragh Levingston and Aaron Doran

  • 60'

    Adeyemo has the ball in the Kerry net after a lovely pass saw him break through 1 on 1 with Gutherie but the assistant had his flag up

  • 54'

    Just after he gets carded Tallon is replaced by Jordan Adeyemo

  • 54'

    Jordan Tallon goes into the notebook

  • 52'

    Kevin Williams meets the corner and his headers ripples the side netting, Wexford under some big pressure here

  • 51'

    Another big chance for Kerry as Rob Vasiu has an effort on goal inside the area but Reece Webb gets a block in to steer it out for a corner

  • 49'

    Tallon plays a wayward pace that Kennedy races onto and his strike needs Heffernan to get down well and save

  • 46'

    Underway for the second half in Ferrycarrig Park

  • 47'

    Half time in Ferrycarrig Park and Mark Hanratty's volley is the difference between the sides as we head for a break, the weather is miserable in Wexford but the game has been entertaining so far

  • 45'

    Two minutes added on to the end of this half

  • 43'

    Kerry forced into a change before the break as Rob Vasiu comes in for Andy Quaid who is helped off the field

  • 39'

    Sean Kennedy gets his name taken for a rash tackle, Levingston strikes but it goes over the bar

  • 26'

    Another Levingston free kick almost brings another goal, its Hugh Douglas who meets it this time and his header flashes across the face of goal and no Wexford man is there to put it away and it goes wide

  • 25'

    605 in attendance this evening in Ferrycarrig Park

  • 17'

    Big chance for Aaron Dobbs after Hanratty carves the Kerry defence open with a terrific pass, but Wayne Gutherie saves well and the brother Shane clears the danger inside the six yard box, it should be 2-0 Wexford

  • 13'

    Jordan Tallon crosses into the area it meets the head of Aaron Dobbs but it goes well wide

  • 8'

    Wexford cause danger from a corner but Gutherie claims, Kerry counter well and go up the other end but it comes to nothing

  • 3'

    Just three minutes in and Kerry concede a tenth goal in the space of a week

  • 3'

    Its a push in the back and Darragh Levingston sends a deep free kick into the area, Ethan Boyle heads it back into a central area and Hanratty hits a sweet volley that gives Wayne Gutherie no chance in the Kerry goal

  • 3'

    Goal for Wexford as Mark Hanratty puts them ahead from a Levingston free kick, the ball is headed across and Hanratty vollies home

  • 1'

    Jordan Hannafin gives Heffernan an early chance to test the gloves with a routine catch from a cross into the area

  • 1'

    Nathan Gleeson to kick us off here

  • Wexford playing in all purple while Kerry are in their changed white away kit with green shorts and socks

  • The teams are walking out onto the field here in Ferrycarrig Park kick off just minutes away

  • The weather is typically Irish on this our national holiday, could we see Kerry snatch a famous win this evening or will Wexford hand them their fourth loss of the year so far, just 20 minutes to go until kick off

  • Being breached nine times last week does see Kerry have a -12 GD after four games, Wexford sitting on -1 they haven't had the leakiest of defences with this tie looking to be a very closely fought encounter taking away last weeks result in Galway

  • Kerry have averaged a goal a game in their last three with each of their two away games seeing them net just the once, they haven't picked up a point yet away from Tralee, Wexford meanwhile have scored just once more than Kerry with four, three of those coming against Athlone, since their opening fixture Kerry have rippled the net and are out to keep that up

  • Wexford have named just 7 subs this evening from a possible 9 while the Kingdom have a full contingent ready to make a difference should they need to pull the rabbit out of the hat

  • The Kingdom also make changes and have four switches from the tie at Eamonn Deacy Park, Sean O'Connell, Kalen Spillane, Sean McGrath and Teehan all drop out of the starting 11, as McGrath and Teehan make the bench, in comes Shane Gutherie, Andy Quaid, Jonathan Hannafin and Graham O'Reilly

  • Wexford make three changes from that tie with Harps as two are enforced with injury, Aaron Robinson and Conor Levingston went off with injuries last week and do not feature in the squad, while Karl Chambers drops to the bench, in come Darragh Levingston, Jordan Tallon and Aaron Doran

  • Kerry meanwhile made the headlines for the wrong reasons last week as they were hammered 9-1 by Galway, a real David V Goliath battle, they will pick themselves up and have to not let that tie get to them as they have plenty more games left to go starting with this evening, we have seen them impress at times and be competitive but they are still learning and developing

  • Wexford have taken four points from their opening four games and will look for a big three this evening to help put them back into the promotion picture, their 0-0 draw with Finn Harps last weekend was a damp squib and they are now aiming to overcome a Kerry side at the bottom of the table, unbeaten in their last two games Wexford will hope to make it three on the spin this evening

  • Ferrycarrig Park is the venue for this evenings first meeting between Wexford and Kerry in the league, with the visitors in their first season in the league they have yet to meet at this grade so this will hopefully be an entertaining watch on this St Patrick's Day evening, my name is Diarmuid Kearney and I will be reporting on the tie this evening


Ferrycarrig Park
Ferrycarrig Park, Kilpatrick, The Borough District of Wexford, County Wexford, Leinster, Y35 E296, Ireland

Diarmuid Kearney is a freelance Sports Journalist based in Co Kerry. He has more than 5 years experience covering domestic and international soccer for different media organisations, while also working for local and national print and digital organisations covering GAA.