Sander Puri’s first-half strike was enough for Waterford FC to make it back-to-back wins in the RSC after a 1-0 win against Sligo Rovers on Friday night.
Estonian international Sander Puri struck in first-half strike from Noel Hunt’s right-wing cross to score the only goal of a closely fought game.
A quiet opening to the game saw little in the way of chances but the Blues shaded the possession. The only attack in the opening quarter saw Stanley Aborah’s free kick find the head of Garry Comerford but referee Ben Connolly awarded a defensive free kick.
The game came to life on 17 minutes with a goal of real quality. Rory Feely and Noe Baba linked up to find Noel Hunt down the right before powering his cross to the front post to find the brilliant run from Sander Puri and he fired first-time into the bottom corner past Rovers keeper Ed McGinty.
Aborah’s free kick on the half hour caused more problems in the visitor’s penalty box. The ball fell to Rory Feely who laid it off for Paul Keegan but Sligo keeper McGinty recovered to make a good save.
Eight minutes before the break, Sligo Rovers forced a series of dangerous corners. Regan Donalan broke down the right and his dangerous cross forced defender Garry Comerford to clear. The corner saw Patrick McClean, against his former side, rise highest but his effort deflected wide.
That resulting corner was cleared for Cory Galvin to break down the right and race away. He found the run of Sander Puri but his shot was saved by McGinty as the Blues lead 1-0 at the break.
Cory Galvin forced McGinty into a smart save as he raced down the left before striking for the near post as the second half started. Mike Drennan looked to level for Sligo Rovers on the hour mark; he brilliantly controlled Patrick McClean’s left-wing cross but he was just crowded out as he set himself.
Sligo Rovers played the last portion of the game with just ten men after losing captain Reece McCabe to injury before Stanley Aborah almost sealed the points with a piece of magic. The midfielder lined up the free kick from the edge of the penalty area but it struck the inside the post and bounced across the goal line.
Sligo pressed late on but the Blues held their goal load for a deserved three points to move back to the third place.
Waterford FC: Niall Corbet, Noe Baba, Kenny Browne, Garry Comerford, Dylan Barnett, Rory Feely, Stanley Aborah, Paul Keegan, Sander Puri, Cory Galvin (Bastien Héry 60), Noel Hunt (Izzy Akinade 85)
Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty, Regan Donelan (Seamus Sharkey 54), Kyle Callan-McFadden, Rhys McCabe, Patrick McClean, Lee J Lynch, Kris Twardex (Adam Wixted 73), Jack Keaney, John Mahon, Raffaele Cretaro (Caolin McAleer 65), Mikey Drennan
Referee: Ben Connolly