Goals from Sander Puri and Noel Hunt ensured it was all three points for Waterford FC in a 2-0 win to Bray Wanderers on Friday night in front of 1,748 at the RSC.
It was the Blues’ fourth win in their last six matches and Alan Reynolds’ six changes to the side from the defeat against UCD yielded a bright start; Stanley Aborah’s corner kick finding the head of Rory Feely but his effort was just over the crossbar.
The visitors did start to come back into the game on the quarter hour with a spell of possession but it was the Blues who looked most dangerous down their right. Feely linked up with Noe Baba to find the head of Sander Puri but his header found striker Noel Hunt offside.
Cory Galvin, making his first appearance since returning to the club, fired straight at Wanderers’ keeper Evan Moran before Sander Puri attempted overhead kick didn’t trouble Moran.
Chances for the visitors were few and far between but they looked dangerous as Darragh Noone broke down the left but his ball for the advancing Kevin Lynch was cut out as he looked to break into the penalty area.
And the goal that the Blues possession deserved arrives seven minutes before the break. Galvin’s excellent through ball split the Wanderers defence and set Sander Puri away to fire beyond sub keeper Mark O’Connor; who had one minuted earlier replaced the injured Moran.
Kenny Browne almost doubled the lead one minute before the break but his header from Aborah’s free kick was well held by O’Connor.
Noel Hunt had an effort ruled out for offside the opening minute of the second half before Cory Galvin couldn’t direct Puri’s driven cross on target.
Noel Hunt got the goal he deserved on the scoresheet with 18 minutes remaining. The striker got a hold of Rory Feely’s cross after it wasn’t cleared and he fired home brilliantly on the turn to make it 2-0.
Bray Wanderers almost found a way back into the game just minutes later when Ger Pender made the most of a defensive mistake with Waterford keeper Niall Corbet called into action to make the save.
That was as close as Bray got as the Blues deservedly picked up the points ahead of next Friday’s home match against Sligo Rovers.
Waterford FC: Niall Corbet, Noe Baba, Kenny Browne, Garry Comerford, Dylan Barnett, Paul Keegan, Rory Feely, Stanley Aborah (Dessie Hutchinson 89), Cory Galvin (Gavan Holohan 67), Sander Puri, Noel Hunt (Izzy Akinade 81)
Bray Wanderers: Evan Moran (Mark O’Connor 37), Kevin Lynch, Conor Kenna, Sean Heaney, Paul O’Conor, Ger Pender, Jake Kelly, Rhys Gorman, Darragh Gibbons, Darragh Noone (Jamie Crilly 81), Sean Harding (John Sullivan 85)
Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin)