Date: 21 February, 2020
Competition: League of Ireland First Division
Result: Wexford FC 1 (Conor English, ’90+1) – UCD 1 (Colm Whelan, ’15)
Tickets: €10 (adult), €2 (child).
Attendance: Perhaps 100, but the storm front can take some of the blame for that.
The game: One of those early-season contests that felt a little bit like the teams don’t quite know each other yet, played out in absolutely horrendous conditions in a spot that offers very little shelter. UCD are newly relegated from the League of Ireland Premier Division, but a much-changed team from last year, and might struggle to get back. They started stronger in a first half that was a real slog. As the game went on, Wexford looked the neater team and better able for the wind and sideways rain. After putting the visitors under pressure they eventually scored a real beauty of a last-minute goal that sent the locals home happy. Not a classic, but it certainly improved as it went on, and the last 15 or 20 minutes were really worth watching.
The ground: A very nice pitch with a chunk of space between it and the barriers, there’s a bar/ club house with a nice view over the action from the first floor in one corner. The main stand is on the far side from the entrance, and is one of those temporary-type things with only netting along the back. Decent in the summer, no doubt, but pretty horrible to sit in mid-storm. There’s a little press/ commentary box on the halfway line, and other than that it’s railings around the pitch the whole way. The bar is decent, though.
Extras: A small but very readable programme for an extra €3. On top of the bar (which had homemade cake, an assortment of junk and cheap coffee as well as booze), there’s a little club shop that had the new home shirt and a few cheap ones from previous seasons, including some from the (far more successful) women’s team, and a few in the classic Wexford pink.
Assorted asides: Not the most passionate crowd, especially those that chose the bar over the stand, and there were quite a few of them (understandable, it was swimming weather). The late equaliser came with a few yells but nothing much. Outside there’s a totally ridiculous car parking system that leaves a load of people blocked in after full time until people around them move (it could have been a one-off, who knows). There’s a raffle to win a shirt for a few Euros. A real friendly feeling club, no real edge at all to the support which can make it a bit of a flat experience, but a nice night out.
A few pics: