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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 16 December, 2019

Hery and Elbouzedi give Waterford a first Premier Division win in Cork since 2004

The Blues bounced back from last weekend’s defeat to Shamrock Rovers in impressive fashion.

Bastien Hery with James Tilley Waterford's Bastien Hery is tracked by James Tilley of Cork City. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Cork City 0
Waterford 2

Paul Dollery reports from Turner’s Cross

LAST YEAR’S RUNNERS-UP Cork City have started their 2019 Premier Division campaign with back-to-back losses after going down to neighbours Waterford in this evening’s Munster derby at Turner’s Cross.

A bit of Bastien Hery brilliance on the stroke of half-time had put Waterford in the ascendancy. Zach Elbouzedi capped the win with a breakaway goal in the 92nd minute.

The result sees Waterford emerge victorious from a top-flight fixture in Cork for the first time since April 2004. Their last triumph at Turner’s Cross came when the clubs were in the First Division during the 2011 season.

Having been beaten in their respective league openers last weekend, both sides made changes for this evening’s game, which was watched by a 4,382 attendance.

Dan Casey and Conor McCormack were demoted to the City bench, while Shane Griffin missed out through injury. Club captain Alan Bennett, 19-year-old left-back Ronan Hurley and striker Graham Cummins were all given the nod by John Caulfield as the Leesiders sought to rebound from their 1-0 defeat at St Patrick’s Athletic seven days ago.

Alan Bennett and Damien Delaney fix the goal net during the game Cork City's Alan Bennett and Damien Delaney of Waterford provide mid-game running repairs to the nets. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Waterford, who fell victim to a last-gasp Shamrock Rovers goal at the RSC, left out John Martin and ex-Cork City striker Aaron Drinan. Boss Alan Reynolds — watching from the stands again as he completed a two-match suspension — handed club debuts to former Bohemians midfielder JJ Lunney and on-loan Swindon Town striker Scott Twine.

Despite leaving empty-handed on both of their visits to Turner’s Cross last season, the early stages of this game indicated that Waterford weren’t going to be satisfied to settle for a share of the spoils. With Lunney, Shane Duggan and Hery combining well in midfield, the visitors dominated the opening quarter.

Pressing high up the pitch as they attacked the Shed End, the Blues forced a number of early errors from a City rearguard that looked decidedly unsure of itself. Waterford had three corner-kicks inside the opening five minutes, the best chance falling to ex-City defender Damien Delaney who headed straight at Mark McNulty. 

Scott Twine should have opened his account just 10 minutes into his League of Ireland career. After lifting the ball over Bennett’s head to bear down on goal, Hery may have been better served by opting to test McNulty himself. Instead he squared it to Twine, whose first-time effort produced a brilliant stop from the veteran goalkeeper.

City eventually began to see more of the ball in the opposition’s half, although Waterford’s impressive retention of possession ensured that they continued to dictate proceedings.

Kenny Browne made an important intervention for Waterford against his former club in the 24th minute, blocking a close-range James Tilley effort after some good work by Hurley and Cummins.

Conor McCarthy with Scott Twine Waterford's Scott Twine tangles with Conor McCarthy of Cork City. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Dáire O’Connor, who has impressed since making the move to Cork from UCD over the winter, almost engineered an opener on 39 minutes. His cross from the right fell nicely for namesake Kevin O’Connor, who saw his volley kept out by the legs of Matt Connor.

The lead goal arrived in the third minute of additional time at the end of the first half, but it came at the opposite end. While City had gradually grown into the contest, Waterford deserved to be ahead at the break on the overall balance of play.

After passing up an earlier opportunity, Hery was clinical on this occasion. The Frenchman, who was operating in an advanced midfield role, created space for himself on the edge of the box with some neat footwork, before firing a shot into the bottom corner that McNulty could do little to prevent.

With the home side aiming to overturn a deficit, it was a much busier second half for Waterford at the back. However, they were inches away from doubling their lead when Duggan teed up Twine, who dragged his strike just wide of the post.

Just moments after being sprung from the bench, Liam Nash went close for City. The newly-signed English striker searched for the top corner with his left-footed effort from just outside the box, but it narrowly missed the target.

Less than a minute later, Rory Feely came to Waterford’s rescue. City substitute Garry Comerford — a winter addition from Waterford — cut the ball back from the right for Karl Sheppard. He managed to beat goalkeeper Connor from a tight angle, but Feely was well-positioned to sweep the ball off the line.

Ismahil Akinade with Kevin O'Connor Izzy Akinade of Waterford is tackled by Cork City's Kevin O'Connor. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

As City were searching for an equaliser when the game entered its second of five additional minutes, Waterford punished them on the break. Hery released Elbouzedi down the right and the former West Bromwich Albion youngster finished emphatically in front of the vocal travelling support in the St Anne’s End. 

CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; Conor McCarthy, Alan Bennett (Dan Casey, 55), Sean McLoughlin, Ronan Hurley (Garry Comerford, HT); Garry Buckley, Kevin O’Connor; Dáire O’Connor, James Tilley, Karl Sheppard; Graham Cummins (Liam Nash, 68).

WATERFORD: Matt Connor; Rory Feely, Kenny Browne, Damien Delaney, Kevin Lynch (Maxim Kouogun, 86); JJ Lunney (Karolis Chvedukas, 76), Bastien Hery, Shane Duggan, Zach Elbouzedi; Scott Twine, Izzy Akinade (Aaron Drinan, 65).

Referee: Derek Tomney

Murray Kinsella, Andy Dunne and Gavan Casey look ahead to Ireland’s Six Nations meeting with Italy and discuss the week’s biggest stories in the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Paul Dollery

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