Waterford maintain unbeaten start with win over Wexford

Ian Morris’ outfit secured a 2-1 victory over Wexford at the RSC.

Image: Ken Sutton/INPHO

WATERFORD’S UNBEATEN START to the 2022 First Division continued on Friday evening with a 2-1 victory over Wexford at the RSC.

Ian Morris’ side took an early lead through a Junior Quitirna penalty and they rallied after Conor Crowley scored an excellent free-kick on the half-hour mark.

It was fan favourite Phoenix Patterson who secured the three points with a close-range finish just five minutes after the equaliser.  

Wexford, who kickstarted their season with back to back victories over Cobh Ramblers and Athlone Town, were cautious in their start to this south-east derby.

This backfired in the seventh minute when referee Declan Toland spotted a handball inside a chaotic penalty area. Quitirna was given the task of converting and he hit a low ball into the right-hand side of goal.

Waterford settled after this and they soon forced a number of chances from open play. Shane Griffin had the first opportunity to score as he found space in front of goal and fired for the top corner. This narrowly whizzed over and moments later a dashing run from Paul Cleary was needed to intercept a deep cross from Patterson.

This was a shock to the system for Wexford and after that defensive clearance, they pushed up into the Waterford half. After Aaron Dobbs dribbled into the box and forced an excellent low save from Brian Murphy, the Waterford shot-stopper needed a quick hand to palm away a limp shot from Harry Groome.

Then Eddie Nolan fouled Lorcan Fitzgerald and a free-kick was given to Wexford. Crowley stood over this and from a position of 25 metres out, he curled the ball around the wall and into the top right corner.

The buzz from the equaliser was short-lived as Waterford’s next attack saw a diverted shot drop into Patterson’s path and he finished cleanly.

A long ball over the top to Dobbs kicked off the second half and this was easily dealt with by a compact Waterford defence.

Louis Britton nearly got on the score sheet after a through ball from Roland Idowu split the Wexford back four. Hunt timed his run and just as the forward entered the box, the goalkeeper spread himself to divert Britton’s run. As he changed course, Hunt lunged down to pluck the ball from the forward’s path.

Britton tormented Wexford at the start of the second half and on one occasion he beat three defenders before shooting towards the bottom right corner. Paul Hunt guessed right on this occasion and he got low to save.

The kickout was won by Dinny Corcoran, who played a quick pass to Conor Davis. He combined with Conor Barry and he played Conor Barry into space out wide. The quick fire move caught Waterford off guard and Thomas Considine headed Barry’s ball off the cross bar.

Waterford were comfortable in the closing minutes in front of 1876, who now look forward to a top of the table clash with Cork City on Monday evening.

Gavin Cooney
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Waterford FC: Brian Murphy; Darragh Power, George Forrest, Eddit Nolan, Shane Griffin, Louis Britton, Junior Quitirna (Niall O’Keeffe 82), Jeremie Milambo, Roland Idowu (Yassine En-Neyah 66), Anthony Wordsworth, Phoenix Patterson.

Wexford FC: Paul Hunt; Aidan Friel (Thomas Considine 78), Paul Cleary, Conor Crowley, Conor Davis (Evan Farrell 85), Aaron Dobbs, Dinny Corcoran, Len O’Sullivan, Adam Wells (Joe Manley 85), Harry Groome (Conor Barry 66), Lorcan Fitzgerald.

Referee: Declan Toland

First Division Results: 

Bray Wanderers 1 – 3 Galway United

Cork City 2 – 0 Cobh Ramblers 

About the author:

Dylan O'Connell

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