Brendan White reports from the RSC
WATERFORD GOT BACK to winning ways this in the SSE Airtricity League First Division this evening with a victory over Wexford at the RSC.
Mark O’Sullivan opened the scoring in the first half to put the Blues in front before he headed a second in midway through the second period to ensure Waterford picked up the three points.
The opening 10 minutes were lacking in goal chances, but were dominated by a brilliantly observed minute of applause in memory of late Derry City captain Ryan McBride.
It was Waterford who scored with the first real chance of the game. O’Sullivan played a one-two with David McDaid inside the Wexford half before the former Cork City striker fired the ball under the advancing Wexford goalkeeper Graham Doyle on the edge of the area.
Wexford came into the game and Lee Duffy had a good chance for the visitors. Ricky Fox sent in the free-kick that found the head of Sean Hurley who laid the ball off for Duffy, but he couldn’t get enough on his effort.
Wexford continued to create some half-chances and Shane Dunne’s corner from the left looked to cause problems but Waterford goalkeeper Ian McLoughlin did well to clear.
The Blues started to get on top and McDaid had a good chance on the hour-mark. Kenny McEvoy’s cross from the right found McDaid, but he couldn’t get his strike on target.
But Waterford did double their lead midway through the second half in a game with little in the way of clear-cut chances.
McEvoy made progress down the Blues’ right and evaded the pressure from Wexford defender Andrew O’Connor before crossing for O’Sullivan to power a header past Graham Doyle.
The game fizzed out from there, with Duffy’s powerful strike forcing McLoughlin into a smart save the only chance of note, as Waterford took the three points in front of a crowd of 1,647.
WATERFORD: Ian McLoughlin; Robin Dempsey, Patrick McClean, Kenny Browne, Shane O’Connor; Kenny McEvoy, Anthony McAlavey (Garry Comerford, 74), Tom Smith, Derek Daly (Dean O’Halloran, 87); Mark O’Sullivan, David McDaid (Conor Whittle, 90).
WEXFORD: Graham Doyle; Ricky Fox, Ross Kenny, Craig McCabe, Andrew O’Connor; Adam Hanlon (Liam Donnelly, 86), Thomas Croke (Craig Hayes, 78), Craig Wall, Shane Dunne, Sean Hurley (Eoin Porter, 68); Lee Duffy.
Referee: Alan Carey
Waterford’s win sends them back to the top of the table on goal difference ahead of UCD, who overcame Longford Town 2-0 tonight thanks to goals from Jason McLelland and George Kelly.
Cobh Ramblers, who started the night at the top, went down 4-1 away to Cabinteely. Joe Doyle, Karl Byrne, Conor Keely and Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters were on target for the hosts, with Chris McCarthy scoring for the Cork side from the penalty spot.
Elsewhere, Shelbourne were 4-1 winners away to Athlone Town. Veteran Uruguayan striker Walter Invernizzi gave Athlone an early lead but James English equalised before goals from Adam Evans (2) and Derek Prendergast secured all three points for Shels.