Two second-half goals were enough as Waterford FC kept a firm hold of third position in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division after a 2-0 win at home to St Patrick’s Athletic at the RSC.
St Pat’s started well and it was the underside of the crossbar that denied them an early lead in the opening 10 minutes nine minutes when Conan Byrne whipped in a free kick from the right. Ryan Brennan knocked the ball into the path of Darragh Markey but his strike hit the woodwork before Kenny Browne cleared.
St Patrick’s Athletic were reduced to 10 men on the quarter hour when Izzy Akinade outpaced Kevin Toner who dragged the striker down as he raced clear goal, and referee Ray Matthews produced a straight red to the defender.
Courtney Duffus had a great chance to put the home side in front before the half hour when Akinade got the better of Ian Bermingham down the right channel before putting the ball on the head of the attacker but his close-range header was straight at St. Pat’s keeper Barry Murphy.
The Blues took the lead 10 minutes into the second half. Rory Feely sent in a cross from the right that found the head of Akinade and he saw his header tipped onto the crossbar by Murphy but Duffus was on hand of head the close-range rebound to the net for his 10th league goal of the season.
Rory Feely went close to doubling the lead with a glancing header on 63 minutes when he got on the end of Faysel Kasmi’s corner kick but he couldn’t direct his effort on target as the ball whistled wide of Murphy’s right-hand post.
And it was Akinade who doubled the lead on 75 minutes. Courtney Duffus found the striker deep inside the penalty area and he slipped a right-footed shot past a helpless Barry Murphy to ensure the Blues picked up three points.
Waterford FC: Matthew Connor, Rory Feely, Kenny Browne, David Webster, Derek Daly, Bastien Héry, Gavan Holohan (Dean Walsh 90), Sander Puri, Faysel Kasmi (John Martin 68), Izzy Akinade (Dean O’Halloran 85), Courtney Duffus
St Patrick’s Athletic: Barry Murphy, Simon Madden, Lee Desmond, Kevin Toner, Ian Bermingham, Conan Byrne (Michael Barker 18), Ryan Brennan, Jamie Lennon, Darragh Markey (James Doona 84), Dean Clarke, Jake Keegan (Ian Turner 75)
Referee: Ray Matthews (Kerry)