Sunday, 18th March 2018
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Blues prepared for vital fortnight

Bray Wanderers 0 - Waterford FC 5

The players and supporters of Waterford FC are prepared for what could be an historic period in the club’s history. On Friday they make the short trip to Ferrycarrig Park to play Wexford FC. The following week they host Longford Town at the RSC. Victory in those two games would see the ten year quest for Premier League football come to an end. Second placed Cobh Ramblers play Cabinteely this Saturday and the following week they face a tricky away game against UCD at the Belfield Bowl. It is worth noting that Waterford's last game of the campaugn is away to Cobh on Saturday, October 8th and the last thing anyone needs is heading to St Coleman's Park hoping to get something from that match. Hopefully it will be nothing more that a glory journey to Co Cork . In recent weeks it was clear to see that the Waterford players were extremely nervous and on Friday last they travelled to Co Wicklow to play the Premier League side Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds and they hit the Seagulls for five. It was just the tonic they required and hopefully this friendly contest was just the boost they needed.

The Blues were dominant from the opening whistle and could have struck the front as early as the 2nd minutes when some great build-up saw Sean Heaney get space out on the left-side before crossing into the area for Dean Walsh but his bullet like effort came crashing back off the angle of the crossbar.

After Paddy Barrett flashed a shot inches wide minutes later, Waterford did get their noses in front on 11 minutes when Dean O'Halloran was brought to ground on the right side that saw Paul Keegan send in a superb ball that broke to Aaron Drinan and he beat Peter Cherrie with a first time shot.

With the Blues playing the game at a fast tempo, they were rewarded for their early impressiveness with a second goal on 27 minutes when Dean Walsh and Sander Puri did well down the left to set up Aaron Drinan and he beat Cherrie with a right-footed finish.

The band of Waterford followers couldn't believe their eyes when a third goal arrived two minutes later when Dean Walsh took a pass from Paul Keegan before laying the ball into the path of Sander Puri and his well-struck effort deflected off a Bray player before finding the net with the aid of the left-hand post.

Blues keeper Ian McLoughlin was called into action to make his first save on the stroke of the half time whistle when he kept out a snap shot from Ger Pender before Sander Puri was denied his second goal early in the second half when Bray keeper Lee Stacey made a fine save.

McLoughlin made a save to keep out a stinging effort from Gary McCabe on 61 minutes before a fourth Blues goal arrived two minutes later when Dean O'Halloran was brought to ground on the edge of the area and Paul Keegan expertly beat Stacey with a magnificent free kick.

Paul Martin came on for McLoughlin and he kept the cleansheet with a fine save within minutes of introduction to keep out a shot from Jason Marks before the Blues were awarded a penalty on 76 minutes when Dean Walsh was fouled in the area and he sent Stacey the wrong way from the spot.

Although Bray did force a couple of late shots on the goal of Paul Martin, he kept them at bay as the Blues put together a polished display against a home side that were buckled at the sound of the final whistle such was the Waterford dominance.

BRAY WANDERERS: Peter Cherrie (Lee Stacey `46), Hugh Douglas, Tim Clancy (Calvin Rogers `63), Kevin Lynch, Darragh Noone, Keith Buckley (Shane Heffernan `77), Ryan Brennan (Luke Rossiter `77), Gary McCabe (Jake Ellis `62), Karl Moore (John Sullivan `46), Aaron Greene (Jamie Aherne `72), Ger Pender (Jason Marks `46)

WATERFORD FC: Ian McLoughlin (Paul Martin `70), Anthony McAlavey, Kenny Browne (Darryl Walsh `64), Paddy Barrett, Sean Heaney (John Martin `70), Paul Keegan (Owen Wall `64), Dean O'Halloran, Jack Lynch, Sander Puri (Conor Whittle `64), Dean Walsh, Aaron Drinan (David McDaid `64)

Referee: Paula Brady


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