Waterford's Phoenix Patterson (centre) celebrates. Evan Treacy/INPHO

Waterford take control of Treaty tie but Galway and Longford on a knife edge

First Division playoff series underway as season reaches a thrilling conclusion.

GALWAY UNITED WILL be hoping home advantage in the second leg of their First Division playoff semi-final will prove decisive this weekend after they twice came from behind against Longford Town to earn a 2-2 draw.

Substitute Mikie Rowe was their hero with a brace, matching the exploits of former United striker Jordan Adeyemo who struck either side of the interval.

It was John Caulfield’s introduction of Rowe that proved crucial, the midfielder cancelling out Adeyemo’s clinical header at the back post that had put the home side in front in the 29th minute.

Rowe found the net four minutes into the second half, but that joy was short lived as the hosts again got ahead, and again it was Adeyemo on hand in the 54th minute.

But a chaotic 12-minute spell was completed when Rowe was in the right place at the right time to tap home Rob Manley’s initial shot.

The sides meet at Eamonn Deacy Park on Sunday afternoon, by which time they will know who they will be facing in the final, as Waterford host Treaty United 24 hours earlier.

Barring a miraculous turnaround, the Blues will stand in their way after Danny Searle’s charges put themselves in the driving seat away in Limerick with a 4-1 victory.

Enda Curran’s 62nd-minute penalty for the hosts did threaten to make a fight of it before Junior Quitirna’s close-range finish put it beyond doubt eight minutes later – redemption of sorts after he fluffed his lines with a first-half penalty.

In truth, though, Waterford were in control after just five minutes when Phoenix Patterson showed his sharpness in the box.

As the ball broke on the left outside the penalty box, Yassine En-Neyah prodded a neat ball in behind for the young forward to run on to.
Patterson duly obliged and despite two covering defenders attempting to close him down he maintained composure to side foot his finish low in
the far bottom corner.

As the half progressed, Treaty gained somewhat more of a foothold on proceedings, but it was Waterford who showed the killer instinct in the final third, Patterson again latching on to a pass from Quitirna to score his 19th league goal of the season.

The tie should have been put to bed five minutes before the interval when Quitirna won a penalty, he stepped up to convert but struck the base of the post.

That miss looked like it could be costly when Curran stepped up to convert from 12 yards for Treaty, but Quitirna added a third on 70 minutes.

Any hopes Treaty had were well and truly extinguished in cruel circumstances when Sean Guerins deflected a Timi Sobowale cross into his own yet in the fourth minute of injury time.

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