SSE Airtricity Premier Division
SLIGO ROVERS 1
ADAM MORGAN ‘67
WATERFORD FC 2
GAVAN HOLOHAN ’34, COURTNEY DUFFUS ‘90
Courtney Duffus ensured that the Waterford FC fans were leaving the Showgrounds happy on Friday night last as his last minute strike gave the Blues a snatch and grab victory against Sligo Rovers as Alan Reynolds side moved to joint top of the SSE Airtricity Premier Division.
Reynolds made two changes to the side that defeated St Patrick’s Athletic with Dylan Barnett and Dean Walsh coming into the starting eleven in place Garry Comerford and Izzy Akinade, who missed the game through injury.
It was Duffus and on loan keeper Lawrence Vigouroux that were the men that stood up to the plate with the latter making four amazing saves that were the difference between victory and defeat when Dublin referee Neil Doyle sounded the final three blows of his fox classic whistle.
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 left 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 that beat keeper Beeney.
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)