It’s a case of last versus second last as Wexford Youths host Salthill Devon in Ferrycarrig Park on Saturday night (Kick-off 7.45).
Supporters of both these sides will be hoping the players have left their best ‘til last after disappointing league campaigns. And while the ramifications for finishing last remain to be seen, both sides will be desperate to avoid bottom spot.
If the hosts are to avoid that unenviable status, they will have to halt a 12 game winless streak which dates back to the middle of July when Noel O’Connor’s men narrowly overcame Waterford United.
Since then, though, Wexford have shipped 33 goals including that 6-0 hammering by Limerick in September. Also in that period was the 2-1 loss to Salthill Devon – the last time the two sides met. Emmet Shaw and Timmy Molloy were the goal scorers on that day and Mick Wallace’s outfit will have to be much tighter at the back to avoid a similar outcome.
Speaking during the week, Youths’ manager O’Connor stressed the importance of victory tonight: “Your next game is always your biggest, but there was an air of inevitability that it was going to come down to this and obviously no team wants to finish bottom and Wexford Youths wouldn’t be any different.”
Despite their difficulties, Salthill will be full of confidence having beaten Wexford twice this season. By his own admission, Salthill boss Paul ‘Skee’ McGee promised his side will go all out for the win and with the returning James Whelan, Devon will likely go for a four-four-two formation. The Galway club are further boosted by the fact that they have no injury or suspension concerns which means McGee has a full squad to choose from.
Speaking to Galway Bay FM, McGee said: “It would be absolutely fantastic if we could sign of with a win. We need the big “W” urgently!”
Both sides will be desperate for the win but Salthill, with a full squad, have a great opportunity to continue their winning hoodoo over the Youths.
Injured: Craig Wall (ankle)
Suspended: Packie Holden, Danny Furlong and Ben Ryan.
Referee: Darren Coombes.
PaddyPower odds: Wexford Evns, Draw 12/5, Salthill 21/10.
ExtraTime.ie prediction: 2-1 to the visitors.
Sam joined Extratime for the 2011 season and is now the site's features editor. He is based in Dublin and covers all the clubs in the capital. He is also prone to the odd Drogheda game. If you would like to contact Sam, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.