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Waterford make it back-to-back wins at UCD's expense

Patrick McClean and Tom Smith ensured the Blues joined the home side on six points.
Mar 10th 2017, 10:23 PM 3,500 1

Waterford 2

Brendan White reports from the UCD Bowl

WATERFORD FC MADE it back-to-back wins in the SSE Airtricity League First Division after a 2-0 defeat of early league leaders UCD at the UCD Bowl on Friday night.

After a first half with chances for both, the second half belonged to Waterford as Patrick McClean and Tom Smith ensured the Blues joined the home side on six points.

The visitors started the better of the two sides and could have been in front early on. Last weekend, Waterford took a fourth-minute lead, and they almost went ahead with two minutes on the clock this week. Shane O’Connor’s in-swinging corner bounced around before finding Patrick McClean, and his powerful drive forced a superb save from UCD goalkeeper Niall Corbet.

Waterford continued to press and had big shouts for a penalty after nine minutes. Blues winger Kenny McEvoy broke down the right and looked to be fouled by retreating UCD midfielder Jason McClelland, but referee Adriano Reale waved play on.

The chances continued for the home side and David McDaid could have grabbed the opener on the quarter-hour. Garry Comerford played the ball over the top for McDaid to chase, but Corbet raced from his goal to head clear from outside his area. The ball then dropped to McDaid with his back to goal, but he couldn’t hook the ball over the stranded Corbet.

But the game swung and UCD were the team in the ascendancy. The influential Jason McClelland had a good chance from a deadball as the Students began to control proceedings. His curling 25-yard effort dropped wide of McLoughlin’s near post.

The home side continued to dominate possession as the half wore on, and Cian Kavanagh had a strike on goal from the middle of the field, but it drifted over the Waterford crossbar.

Against the run of play, visitors Waterford almost grabbed the lead on the brink of half-time. Striker McDaid came deep to win possession and find McAlavey, who played a low ball down the left-wing to O’Connor. He raced toward the endline, but Estonian international Sander Puri couldn’t get on the end of his cross.

Waterford had two good chances to take the lead at the start of the second half. Kenny McEvoy was found by Blues captain David Mulcahy and he got past two players, before a great low cross forced the goalkeeper to palm clear.

Smith forced Corbet into a fine stop, before the latter pulled off a world-class save from McDaid. The Waterford striker held off the attention of defender Liam Scales, but Corbet pulled off a cracking one-handed save to touch the ball over the bar.

But the early second-half pressure paid off just past the hour mark from the resulting corner. Shane O’Connor curled in the corner from the right, the ball was parried into the air and McClean rose highest to head home into the bottom right corner.

UCD had shouts for a penalty in the final quarter, as Neil Farrugia broke into the penalty area, but referee Reale adjudged McClean’s challenge to be fair.

Tom Smith almost added a second when he broke forward but he fired just wide, but the Waterford player got the goal his performance deserved with five minutes remaining. McDaid found the young midfielder in the penalty area and he fired low past Corbet to secure the points for the visitors.

UCD: Niall Corbet, Daniel Tobin, Evan Osam, Liam Scales, Maxi Kouogun, Greg Sloggett, Robert Manley (Neil Farrugia 71), Gary O’Neill, Georgie Kelly, Cian Kavanagh (Daire O’Connor 71), Jason McClelland (Ben Hanrahan 80)

WATERFORD: Ian McLoughlin, Tom Smith (Robin Dempsey 90+2), Dave Mulcahy, Patrick McClean, Shane O’Connor, David McDaid (Dean Walsh 88), Kenny McEvoy (Dean O’Halloran 76), Sander Puri, Garry Comerford, Anthony McAlavey.

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Cabinteely 2-0 Wexford Youths

Athlone 0-3 Longford

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Brendan White


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