Ryan Byrne/INPHO Waterford won the 2017 First Division (file pic).
# up a level
Night to remember for Waterford as they mark top flight return with comeback win
Gavan Holohan and Dean O’Halloran hit the net to give the hosts all three points against Derry City.

Waterford FC 2
Derry City 1

Brendan White reports from The RSC

WATERFORD FC MADE it a night to remember on their return to the Premier Division after coming from behind to beat Derry City 2-1 at a very wet RSC.

The match was in doubt up to 7.30pm as referee Robert Hennessy gave the pitch time after a deluge of rain in Waterford on Friday evening. But after work by the RSC ground staff, club official and volunteers, the pitch was deemed playable.

The home side had the better of the opening exchanges with Waterford’s Garry Comerford forcing Derry City keeper Ger Doherty to palm away his free kick and clear the danger.

The visitors came into the game with Darren Cole volleying over the crossbar before Armin Aganovic scored the opener after 19 minutes. Midfielder Aaron McEneff sent in a left-wing free kick and the unmarked Aganovic headed beyond Waterford keeper Corbet.

Izzy Akinade was causing problems down the right and he looked to drive toward goal before being fouled; Garry Comerford’s resulting free kick was over the crossbar.

But the home side didn’t lie down after going behind and leveled two minutes before half-time. Rory Feely and Bastien Hery linked up well in the middle of midfield before playing Gavan Holohan through. He drove at goal from the right and struck powerfully under the body of Ger Doherty to level.

Izzy Akinade almost gave Waterford the lead seven minutes into the second half.

Rory Feely fired in the cross from the right wing for Akinade but his header crashed back off the post.

But the Blues did take the lead 13 minutes from time. A brilliant piece of skill from Stanley Aborah sent Garry Comerford down the left side and he crossed for Dean O’Halloran to grab all three points for Waterford on their return to the Premier Division.

WATERFORD FC: Niall Corbet, Rory Feely, Kenny Browne, David Webster, Garry Comerford; Bastien Hery, Paul Keegan, Stanley Aborah (Dylan Barnett 80), Dean O’Halloran (Dean Walsh 90+2), Gavan Holohan; Izzy Akinade.

DERRY CITY: Ger Doherty; Conor McDermott (Dapo Kayode 81), Armin Aganovic, Darren Cole, Ben Doherty; Jamie McDonagh (Ronan Curtis 55), Rory Hale (Nathan Boyle 85), Nicky Lowe, Aaron McEneff, Ronan Hale; Rory Patterson.

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