Friday, 25th May 2018
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Blues go two points clear at the top of table

Waterford went into this game one point clear at the top of the table from UCD and two points clear of Cobh Ramblers. Following this game allied to UCD's win over Athlone Town the Blues are now two clear at the summit of the league table. Games between Waterford and Cobh are usually tight and tense affairs and this latest meeting of the teams fell into that category also. The home goalkeeper Paul Hunt was in brilliant form and he was the difference between a victory and a draw. Having said that the hosts could have taken all of the spoils also so this was a point gained for Alan Reynolds and his charges. On Friday next they travel to play an Athlone Town side who are now managed by Roddy Collins so that could be an interesting match to say the least. The only game Waterford have lost this season in the league was away to Athlone on the first day of the season and that result still haunts the players to this day.

After Stephen Christopher and Craig Donnellan had half chances for Cobh early in the tie, it was the Blues that really took control once the game settled down with John Martin linking up with David McDaid on 14 minutes but his snapshot from 20 yards went wide of the left-hand post.

Conor Whittle sent in a cross from the right that found Mark O'Sullivan at the back post four minutes later but he headed wide before Derek Daly whipped in a brilliant left-wing corner kick on 19 minutes that found the head of Garry Comerford however his close-range header was superbly kept out by Paul Hunt.

John Martin was the next player to go close for the Blues two minutes later when the attacker got on the end of a Comerford delivery from the right at the back post but he fired wide at the back post before the latter crossed for O'Sullivan minutes later only for the centre forward to head wide.

The Blues fans behind the goal were celebrating what looked a certain breakthrough on 40 minutes when David McDaid got space out on the left-side of the penalty area before crossing to the back post for Mark O'Sullivan but after his header struck the woodwork before rolling across goal where Charlie Fleming cleared.

It was a real let-off for a Cobh Ramblers side that were playing second fiddle to the Blues at this stage and although Jason Abbott tested Matthew Connor with a free kick on 64 minutes, there was a bigger chance for Matthew Whelan soon afterwards but the attacker dragged a shot wide of Connor's right-hand post.

AMAZING SAVE

Whelan headed a fine delivery from Ian Mylod over the crossbar on 73 minutes before David McDaid had a chance at the other end for Waterford seconds later when he took a pass from Garry Comerford but his effort was over Paul Hunt's crossbar.

With time ticking down, it was Hunt that produced a moment of magic with 86 minutes on the clock when Conor Whittle sent in a cross from the right that was met by John Martin and although his stunning effort seemed destined for the net, the Cobh netminder somehow turned the ball out for a corner kick.

Shane O'Connor was the man that sent in the resulting flag kick from the left that was met by the towering head of Jack Lynch but his goalbound effort was cleared off the line superbly by a diving headed clearance from Anthony O'Donnell.

Matthew Whelan did have a late chance to win the game for Cobh in the final minute when he took advantage of a slip in the Blues defence but the youngster couldn't direct his effort on target before Matthew Connor did collect well from O'Donnell in second half injury time.

COBH RAMBLERS: Paul Hunt, Charlie Fleming, Scott McCarthy (Anthony O'Donnell `63), Ben O'Riordan, James McSweeney, Craig Donnellan (Christopher McCarthy `84), Stephen Christopher (Ross Mann `63), Cian Coleman, Matthew Whelan, Jason Abbott, Ian Mylod

WATERFORD FC: Matthew Connor, Conor Whittle, Patrick McClean (Jack Lynch `27), Kenny Browne, Shane O'Connor, Anthony McAlavey, Garry Comerford, John Martin, Derek Daly (Kenny McEvoy `85), David McDaid, Mark O'Sullivan

Referee: Alan Carey (Dublin)

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