Waterford FC fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat at home to Dundalk on Friday night as the visitors edged closer to retaining their title.
Michael O’Connor had the first chance of the game when he was sent through by Tom Holland; his first touch let him down but he still got his strike away. Dundalk keeper Gary Rogers was out quick to make the block.
The home side had another good chance three minutes later when Georgie Poynton crossed but Sam Bone just couldn’t get a touch on the ball.
On the half hour, Waterford threatened again. Zack Elbouzedi crossed from the left for Michael O’Connor who laid the ball off to Cory Galvin, but Dundalk midfielder Chris Shields made a last-ditch block to deflect the ball over.
Rory Feely headed over the crossbar before Dundalk’s Michael Duffy fired over Matthew Connor’s crossbar.
Dundalk struck the lead goal seven minutes before half time. Rob Slevin didn’t get the free kick from referee Derek Tomney as Pat Hoban stole possession and drove at goal before squaring for Daniel Kelly to fire into the back of the net.
Dundalk almost doubled the lead just before the hour mark. Michael Duffy did the work down the left before slipping the ball inside to Daniel Kelly, but his strike was blocked by Kevin Lynch in front of goal.
Patrick McEleney tested Matthew Connor with a powerful shot but the young keeper saved well, before Waterford almost levelled at the other end in the final minutes.
Dean O’Halloran linked up with Walter Figueira inside the penalty box and found Shane Duggan but his right-footed strike was saved by Gary Rogers as Dundalk held out for the three points.
Waterford FC: Matthew Connor, Sam Bone, Rory Feely, Rob Slevin, Kevin Lynch, Tom Holland (Shane Duggan 66), JJ Lunney (Dean O’Halloran 79), Georgie Poynton, Zack Elbouzedi, Cory Galvin (Walter Figueira 60), Michael O’Connor
Dundalk FC: Gary Rogers, Sean Gannon, Chris Shields, Andy Boyle, Dean Jarvis, Daniel Cleary, Jamie McGrath, Robbie Benson (Sean Murray 85), Michael Duffy, Daniel Kelly (Patrick McEleney 79), Pat Hoban (Georgie Kelly 89)
Referee: Derek Tomney