Second half goals from Gearoid Morrissey and Garry Buckley inflicted a first defeat of the SSE Airtricity Premier Division on Waterford FC as the Blues lost their Munster derby meeting with Cork City played at Turners Cross on Friday night last.
Blues manager Alan Reynolds kept faith with the same eleven that started against Derry City but despite giving as good as they got in the first half, it was the champions that showed their experience in the second half with two goals in the space of eight minutes that settled a tie played in front of a massive 6443 attendance.
Waterford had the first chance of the game inside the opening two minutes when Paul Keegan whipped in a free kick from the left after a foul on Dean O’Halloran but central defender Kenny Browne headed straight into the hands of Mark McNulty from close range.
The hosts grew into the game with Kieran Sadlier played the ball into the path of Karl Sheppard four minutes later but his flicked effort was wide of the left-hand post before Conor McCormack latched onto the ball 30-yards however his shot was saved by Niall Corbet.
Rory Feely got free down the right channel on 27 minutes before putting a dangerous ball to the near post but Cork City defender Aaron Barry got his head to the ball before Izzy Akinade to knock the ball behind for a corner kick.
Bastien Héry showed an amazing piece of skill to leave two Cork players standing minutes later but his right-footed shot failed to trouble keeper Mark McNulty as the ball was well wide of the left-hand post as the Blues gave as good as they got against the champions.
It was Héry that nearly put the ball into the back of his net on the stroke of the half time whistle when a dangerous delivery from the right from Kieran Sadlier flashed across the area but thankfully the clearance from the Blues midfielder went the wrong side of the posts to the sound of the half time whistle.
Shane Griffin went close to putting the home side in front on 51 minutes when the left back sent in an effort from the left side that saw Blues keeper Niall Corbet do well to get a vital hand to the ball to divert it away from the danger zone.
Waterford fell behind to the opening goal of the contest four minutes later when Barry McNamee cracked in a shot that was parried by Corbet before Garry Comerford added to it but Gearoid Morrissey latched onto the breaking ball before drilling a low left-footed shot to the bottom corner to send the Shed wild.
The hosts doubled their lead with ease on 63 minutes when Kieran Sadlier got free down the left-side and with Garry Buckley allowed too much space to race to the near post when he beat keeper Niall Corbet with a neat right-footed finish from close range.
It has to be said that these two goals in quick succession took the sting out of the Waterford performance and although the Blues boss did make a couple of changes with the introduction of Derek Daly and Dylan Barnett, City were comfortable at the back as they took all three points from the first Munster derby of the season.
CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; Steven Beattie, Aaron Barry, Alan Bennett, Shane Griffin; Gearoid Morrissey, Conor McCormack, Barry McNamee (Colm Horgan `90), Garry Buckley (Jimmy Keohane `85), Kieran Sadlier (Michael Howard `88); Karl Sheppard
WATERFORD FC: Niall Corbet; Rory Feely, David Webster, Kenny Browne, Garry Comerford; Paul Keegan (Sander Puri `82), Stanley Aborah (Derek Daly `69), Bastien Héry, Gavan Holohan; Dean O’Halloran (Dylan Barnett `69), Izzy Akinade
Referee: Ben Connolly (Dublin)