Waterford FC 3-0 Cabinteely
The horrible weather conditions didn’t dampen the spirits of the Waterford faithful last night as a crowd of 1317 witnessed Waterford FC get over the disappointing opening night defeat with a polished performance that yielded a 3-0 success over Cabinteely.
It was just the reaction that people wanted to see after the loss to Athlone Town as a brace from striker David McDaid and a stunning effort from Anthony McAlavey helped the Blues to secure their first win of the season on a difficult night for football.
Waterford FC showed three changes to the side that lost on the road with McDaid, McAlavey and Dave Mulcahy coming into the starting eleven with Dean O’Halloran, Garry Comerford and Shane O’Connor dropped to the bench.
The hosts got off to the ideal start when striking the front inside the opening four minutes when Jake Evans picked out Kenny McEvoy down the right channel and after turning onto his left-foot, his cross to the near post was headed powerfully to the net by David McDaid.
As the rain lashed down in bucket loads, Cabinteely did come back into the game with Kieran Marty Waters stepping over a free kick 25-yards from goal on nine minutes but his well struck effort that had keeper Ian McLoughlin beaten just cleared the crossbar.
Waters forced McLoughlin to tip over his delivery from the left soon afterwards before Sander Puri flashed an effort after a Kenny McEvoy corner broke into his path inches over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area on 24 minutes.
It was a stunning second goal that settled the nerves of the home crowd ten minutes later when Mark O’Sullivan did well down the left and after his cross was knocked down by McDaid into the path of Anthony McAlavey, he beat Michael Kelly with a classy finish from 20 yards.
McAlavey could have added a third goal for Waterford FC on 44 minutes when he latched onto the ball just inside the area but his thunderous effort struck the top of the crossbar before Tom Smith was just wide with a header after a McEvoy cross in first half injury time.
HALF TIME 2-0
With the Blues playing some fluent football in the first half, it was the visitors that started the second half on the front foot with Kieran Marty Waters going agonisingly close with an effort from the right-side of the penalty area on 47 minutes but his shot was just wide of McLoughlin’s far post.
Things got even better for the home side with 57 minutes played as a fine move down the right side saw Kenny McEvoy set up Mark O’Sullivan, who turned provider for David McDaid and he beat Michael Kelly at his near post with a neat right-footed finish from 14 yards.
Cabinteely nearly pulled a goal back at the other end seconds later when Joe Doyle got free 20-yards from goal but keeper Ian McLoughlin got down well to save before McDaid was denied his hat-trick on 61 minutes as his bicycle kick after a Sander Puri right-wing cross was superbly tipped over the bar by keeper Kelly.
Mark O’Sullivan did have a chance to score his first League goal for his new club six minutes later when the centre forward found space on the right-side but his low shot was saved by the visiting Michael Kelly at the second attempt.
There was little in terms of goalscoring chances for the final 20 minutes of the contest as Waterford FC were just happy to see out the remainder of the tie which helped secure a first home win of the season on a night that will give the club real hope going forward.
WFC: Ian McLoughlin; Jake Evans, Dave Mulcahy, Kenny Browne, Patrick McClean; Kenny McEvoy (Derek Daly `60), Tom Smith (Garry Comerford `81), Anthony McAlavey, Sander Puri; Mark O’Sullivan, David McDaid (Dean O’Halloran `71)
CABINTEELY: Michael Kelly; Karl Byrne (Victor Ekanem `72), Adam Harney, Conor Keeley, Kevin Knight; Steven Ball (Jack Watson `63), Anthony Dolan (Michael Scott `76), Christian Lotefa, Evan Galvin; Kieran Waters, Joe Doyle
Referee: Robert Hennessy (Limerick)