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Crowd trouble mars Shamrock Rovers' comeback win in Waterford

Danny Mandroiu scored twice as the champions came from behind to leave Waterford mired in relegation trouble.

Sean Gannon and Danny Mandroiu celebrate: Mandroiu scored twice in a 3-1 Rovers win.
Sean Gannon and Danny Mandroiu celebrate: Mandroiu scored twice in a 3-1 Rovers win.
Image: Evan Treacy/INPHO

Waterford 1-3 Shamrock Rovers

Dylan O’Connell reports from the RSC

A LATE RESCUE mission saw champions Shamrock Rovers need two goals from Danny Mandroiu and a header from Sean Hoare to beat Waterford 3-1 at the RSC.

The real story of the game belongs to the crowd trouble which saw fireworks set off over the pitch in the first half and both teams being brought off the pitch for almost 10 minutes.

Regardless of the issues, this was a fine tactical battle between Marc Bircham and Stephen Bradley.

Waterford started the game in a 4-5-1 formation with Shane Griffin operating between the lines. This worked excellently in the opening five minutes of the game, as it allowed the Blues to have a man advantage in the centre of the pitch.

Rovers tried to get around this with some crisp passing play, which played Graham Burke into space outside the area. The striker got the ball, adjusted his position, and his shot trickled wide.

Waterford had to wait five minutes for their first chance of the game and this fell to John Martin, who lost his balance in front of goal and mis-hit the ball.

The Hoops’ response fell to the boot of Aaron Greene, who received the ball at point-blank range inside the box and fired wide.

A calamity of errors at the back for Rovers led to Waterford taking the lead after Jack Stafford dropped a cross into the box.

First Leon Pohls – who was starting his first Premier Division game for the Hoops since signing for the club in 2019 – came off his line to collect. The ball dropped short to Lee Grace who headed down it down to an unmarked John Martin, and he kicked it into an empty net.

As the game restarted and the decibels of the stadium rose, fireworks came from the away end and exploded over the RSC, forcing referee Rob Hennessey to take the teams off the pitch.

The game was stopped for almost 10 minutes before the two teams returned. Rovers had a better start than the home side as Burke and Mandroiu had chances. Their best chance during this period came from an in-swinging free kick from Dylan Watts. Eddie Nolan cleared this and the ball went to Neil Farrugia, who had a header saved by Brian Murphy.

The second half began with a warning from the officials, who threatened to abandon the game if there was any more anti-social behaviour inside the ground.

On the pitch, Rovers controlled the with a neat passing game, creating space in the final third although they couldn’t get in to make the final pass and score.

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The champions needed two set pieces to get in front. Their first was a corner from Watts which was knocked in by Mandroiu. Moments later, a free-kick from Watts landed into the path of Hoare and he fired in.

The Hoops clinched the result in injury time after a fine run from Mandroiu, which was finished with the forward slotting the ball past Brian Murphy.

Waterford FC: Brian Murphy; Cameron Evans, Shane Griffin (Darragh Power 76), Anthony Wordsworth, John Martin, Niall O’Keeffe, Jack Stafford, Greg Halford, Isaac Tshipamba (Junior Quitirna 56), Phoenix Patterson, Eddie Nolan.

Shamrock Rovers: Leon Pohls; Sean Gannon, Sean Hoare, Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace (Max Murphy 60), Dylan Watts, Aaron Greene, Graham Burke (Zayd Abada 82), Danny Mandroiu, Gary O’Neil, Neil Farrugia (Kieran Cruise 89).

Referee: Rob Hennessy

BTL 5

About the author:

Dylan O'Connell

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