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Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 13 April 2021

Ex-Ireland international on target as Waterford keep pace in battle for third

Goals from Sander Puri and Noel Hunt ensured a return to winning ways for their team.

Noel Hunt (file pic).
Noel Hunt (file pic).
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Waterford FC 2

Bray Wanderers 0

Brendan White reports from the RSC

GOALS FROM SANDER Puri and Noel Hunt ensured a return to winning ways for Waterford FC with a 2-0 win against struggling Bray Wanderers.

Sander Puri finished Cory Galvin’s through ball in the first half before Noel Hunt ensured the points with a crisp finish in the second half.

Alan Reynolds made six changes from the defeat against UCD and his side started brightly; Stanley Aborah’s early corner kick finding Rory Feely but he headed over the crossbar.

Bray started to come back into the game on the quarter hour, but it was Waterford who looked most dangerous down their right. Feely linked up with Noe Baba to find the head of Puri, but his cushioned header found Hunt in an offside position.

The home side continued to threaten, as Galvin fired straight at Wanderers’ keeper Evan Moran, before Puri couldn’t get enough contact on his attempted overhead kick from Baba’s cross.

Despite not enjoying much possession, Bray looked dangerous on occasion. With the game still scoreless, Darragh Noone broke down the left, but his ball for the advanced Kevin Lynch was intercepted.

But the goal Waterford’s dominance deserved did arrive seven minutes before half-time. Galvin’s through ball set Puri away, and he fired beyond sub keeper Mark O’Connor.

Kenny Browne almost doubled the lead one minute before the break, but his header from Aborah’s free kick was well held by O’Connor.

Hunt had an effort ruled out for offside in the opening minute of the second half before Galvin, couldn’t direct Puri’s driven cross on target.

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The lively Hunt deservedly put his name on the scoresheet with 18 minutes remaining to all but seal the win. He got a hold of Feely’s cross, after it wasn’t effectively deal with by the visitors’ defence and he finished on the turn to make it 2-0.

Bray were almost back in the game minutes later, when Ger Pender made the most of a Kenny Browne mistake, with Waterford keeper Niall Corbet forced to make the save.

It was as close as Bray came to a goal, as Waterford deservedly picked up the points to continue their hunt for European football, while the Seagulls are in need of a minor miracle to avoid automatic relegation with five games remaining.

Waterford FC: Niall Corbet, Noe Baba, Kenny Browne, Garry Comerford, Dylan Barnett, Paul Keegan, Rory Feely, Stanley Aborah (Dessie Hutchinson 89), Cory Galvin (Gavan Holohan 67), Sander Puri, Noel Hunt (Izzy Akinade 81)

Bray Wanderers: Evan Moran (Mark O’Connor 37), Kevin Lynch, Conor Kenna, Sean Heaney, Paul O’Conor, Ger Pender, Jake Kelly, Rhys Gorman, Darragh Gibbons, Darragh Noone (Jamie Crilly 81), Sean Harding (John Sullivan 85)

Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin)

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