A double from Aaron Drinan fired Waterford FC to a 2-0 win over St Patrick’s Athletic on Friday night at the RSC.
Alan Reynolds made 3 changes from last week’s defeat in Dundalk with Matthew Connor, Karolis Chvedukas and Scott Twine all coming into the starting eleven.
Visitors St Patrick’s Athletic started the brighter with Dean Clarke and Chris Forrester both forcing Blues keeper Matthew Connor into two excellent saves.
On-loan Scott Twine was first to threaten for the Blues down the left but his strike was saved by Brendan Clarke.
Chris Forrester shot straight at Connor before Aaron Drinan couldn’t get a touch on Zack Elbouzedi’s curling cross from the right.
And Drinan went one better on 18 minutes. St Pats failed to clear Kevin Lynch’s free kick and Drinan headed beyond Clarke in the St Pats goal for the opener.
St Pats keeper Clarke was busy again saving well from Drinan and Scott Twine before Zack Elbouzedi’s volley his the post.
Clarke was again busy saving from JJ Lunney before Drinan made it 2-0.
Lunney broke from midfield and raced toward goal through the middle and found the run of Aaron Drinan. The striker composed himself and made no mistake from six yards to double the lead.
Harry Kenny’s St Pats team looked like they’d got back into the game just past the hour mark when Mikey Drennan finished well after Brandon Miele has struck the post but referee Paul McLaughlin blew for offside.
The visitors had big shouts for a penalty turned down with ten minutes left on the clock but referee McLoughlin waved plan on.
Izzy Akinade almost made it 3-0 two minutes from time but defender Lee Desmond got back to make a superb defending challenge. Mikey Drennan came close to halving the deficit in the final minutes but he shot over the crossbar as the Blues saw out the 2-0 win.
Waterford FC: Matthew Connor, Rory Feely, Maxi Kouogun, Damien Delaney, Kevin Lynch, JJ Lunney, Bastien Hery (Shane Duggan 46), Karolis Chvedukas (Georgie Poynton 56), Zack Elbouzedi, Aaron Drinan, Scott Twine (Izzy Akinade 81)
St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke, Simon Madden, Lee Desmond, Kevin Toner, Ian Bermingham, Jamie Lennon, Brandon Miele (Darragh Markey 73), Chris Forrester (David Webster 67), Dean Clarke (Gary Shaw 67) Mikey Drennan, Rhys McCabe
Referee: Paul McLaughlin