Tuesday, 18th September 2018
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Ten years of heartbreak banished by super Blues

Despite a torrential downpour in the late afternoon which made the playing conditions extremely difficult Waterford FC played some magnificent football at the RSC on Friday last and in doing so they got their Premier League campaign off to a flying start in front of a massive crowd . This was the first match the Blues played in the top tier league for ten years and when Dean O'Halloran popped up with what proved to be the winning goal ten years of heartbreak came to an end and both young and not so young supporters went home extremely happy. The home side dominated the entire contest and it was only poor defending from a set piece that proved to be the low point of a memorable night. Every single Waterford player was on song all through the 90 minutes and they made little of the dreadful underfoot conditions. They moved the game around the park magnificently and there is no doubt that if the rain had not fallen and the playing surface was not affected so badly Alan Reynold's men would have won by a larger margin. It was clear to see that the game plan was to take the game to the Candystripes from the opening whistle and it worked superbly well. The two goals scored by the hosts were right out of the top drawer and now the players and the supporters will travel to Turners Cross this Friday for the huge Munster Derby game against the double champions Cork City. This game has been sold out for many weeks and the famous venue will be rocking on the night.

The Blues started on the front foot with Izzy Akinade brought to ground on the right-side of the penalty area on five minutes but Garry Comerford's resulting free kick was punched clear by Derry keeper Ger Doherty.

Darren Cole volleyed the ball over the crossbar soon afterwards before the visitors struck for the lead goal on 19 minutes when Aaron McEneff whipped in a left-wing delivery that found the head of the unmarked Armin Aganovic and he beat keeper Niall Corbet with a close range header.

Garry Comerford stood over a second free kick from a dangerous position on 39 minutes after Nicky Low brought Akinade down on the right side of the penalty area but he failed to trouble keeper Doherty as the ball went over the crossbar.

Waterford drew level with a minute to go in the first half when a neat one two involving Bastien Héry and Rory Feely saw the latter set up Gavan Holohan, who went on a great run skipping past three players before planting a low right-footed shot under the body of Doherty.

Izzy Akinade nearly put the hosts in front seven minutes into the second half when the striker raced to the near post to meet a cross from Feely but his header whistled inches wide of the target with the Derry City keeper beaten.

The visitors had their only glimpse of goal in the second period on 68 minutes when Ben Doherty picked up a loose clearance from Waterford keeper Niall Corbet, who was a mere spectator for long periods, but his ambitous effort from distance sailed over the bar.

One of the best individual goals seen in the RSC in many a day saw the Blues struck the front on 77 minutes when brilliant first touch football in heavy underfoot conditions resulted in Stanley Aborah's majestic backheel set up Garry Comerford down the left and Dean O'Halloran hammered home his cross at the back post.

With the RSC rocking at this point it was clear that the fans only had one thing on their mind and that was holding out for all three points but it was far from holding on as the Blues went in search of a third goal with Ger Doherty parrying away a cracking effort from match hero O'Halloran. Now it's a case of bring on Cork City and this will be the biggest game the Blues will play for over a decade.

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

DERRY CITY: Ger Doherty; Conor McDermott (Dapo Kayode '81), Aaron McEneff, Armin Aganovic, Jamie McDonagh, Rory Hale (Ronan Curtis '55), Rory Paterson, Darren Cole, Ben Doherty, Ronan Hale (Nathan Boyle '86), Nicky Low.

Referee: Robert Hennessy (Limerick)


Letters to the Editor

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