Saturday, 22nd September 2018
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Smash and grab victory for dogged Super Blues

The Waterford FC supporters who made the long journey to Sligo on Friday night last came home happy and all of them were actually pinching themselves as they made their way back home. Not only had the Blues snatched a victory from the jaws of a draw but Alan Reynold's charges had gone joint top of the Premier League table as Cork City were beaten by Dundalk. Nine points from the opening 4 games is a wonderful achievement by the Blues and they are the first team to record that record for a team promoted from the First Division since 2004.The last club to achieve that start was believe it or not Waterford United ! Waterford went in leading one nil at the interval at the Showgrounds but the home side dominated the second period but then Courtney Duffus popped up with a dramatic winning goal in the last minute. The Blues team showed two changes from the one which defeated St Patrick's Athletic in their previous game. Dylan Barnett replaced Garry Comerford at left-full back and Dean Walsh played up front instead of Izzy Akinade who was suffering from a groin strain.

Adam Morgan nearly capitalised on a mistake in the Blues defence on ten minutes when he raced clear on goal but after his first touch left him down, keeper Lawrence Vigouroux did really well to save at the feet of the attacker.

It was the visitors that nearly struck for the breakthrough goal five minutes when Dean Walsh knocked the ball down into the path of Gavan Holohan but his stunning right-footed strike from 20 yards flashed inches over Mitchell Beeney’s crossbar.

Blues keeper Vigouroux showed his class with a top save on 19 minutes when Sligo midfielder Caolan McAleer latched onto the ball 25-yards from goal but his cracking effort was magnificently tipped out for a corner kick.

Rory Feely had half a chance for the Blues soon afterwards but he headed Paul Keegan’s left-wing corner kick wide before Bastien Héry sent Dean Walsh into the clear on 32 minutes however his low left-footed shot is saved by the feet of Mitchell Beeney.

The Blues broke the deadock two minutes later when Héry sprayed the ball out to the right channel for Rory Feely who in turn put in a superb delivery that saw Gavan Holohan rise highest to power a header past a helpless Sligo keeper Beeney.

Sligo started the second half on the front foot with Callum Waters whipping a ball across goal with Adam Morgan failing to connect before Caolan McAleer latched onto a knockdown on 52 minutes but he shot straight at Lawrence Vigouroux from the edge of the penalty area.

It was the brilliance of Vigouroux that kept his side in front on 59 minutes when Caolan McAleer sent in a ball into the danger zone from the left that picked out Eduardo Pinceli but his effort was turned out for a corner kick that was cleared.

The home side got the goal that their second half dominance deserved eight minutes later when Caolan McAleer sent in a ball from the right that was touched on by Pinceli into the path of Adam Morgan who scrambled the ball home from close range.

A stunning double save from man of the match Lawrence Vigouroux kept the Blues on level terms with three minutes to go when he firstly kept out a strike from Ally Roy before somehow saving the rebound from Lewis Morrison as the visitors clung on.

Then came the dramatic moment in the final minute of the tie when Derek Daly did well out on the l ft side of the area to slip the ball into centre forward Courtney Duffus and he beat keeper Mitchell Beeney with a sublime right-footed shot from the edge of the area. It was an astonishing conclusion to a match which was played on a magnificent playing surface.

SLIGO ROVERS: Mitchell Beeney, Eduardo Pinceli, Kyle Callen McFadden, Adam Morgan (Lewis Morrison ’78), Raffaele Cretaro, Gregory Moorehouse, Patrick McClean, Caolan McAleer, Callum Waters, Adam Wixted (Ally Roy ’55), David Cawley.

WATERFORD FC: Lawrence Vigouroux; Rory Feely, Kenny Browne, Dave Webster, Dylan Barnett; Paul Keegan, Stanley Aborah (Sander Puri ’59), Bastien Héry (Garry Comerford ’76), Gavan Holohan; Dean Walsh (Derek Daly ’64), Courtney Duffus.

Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin)

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