Blues goalkeeper Matthew Connor caught up with Waterford FC’s Adrian Flanagan after a hard fought 1-0 win over Shelbourne in the SSE Airtricity League First Division.
Connor, who has put in a string of impressive performances since stepping back into the starting XI, had to be at his best against Shelbourne, making a number of sharp reaction saves while carrying a commanding presence in the box under high balls.
On keeping his first cleansheet at home in the league, the Irish Colleges goalkeeper said:
“It’s good to get a cleansheet tonight because they have been few and far between in our last couple of games here at the RSC. We were disappointed to concede last week against UCD so to get back on track tonight with a win is fantastic.
“I’m delighted to keep a cleansheet and it’s huge for me but it’s what you do during the game that’s more important. I think that I’m getting my confidence going again coming out collecting crosses and making a couple of saves so it’s all good.
“The chance in the first half that Shelbourne had that I had to save came quick enough. I really wasn’t expecting it because it came out of nowhere so I was delighted to get down to my left to turn the ball out for a corner kick.”
With the win under their belts and Cobh Ramblers suffering a shock defeat at the hands of Athlone Town, three points secured Waterford top spot again in the league which Connor shared his delight at:
“It’s great to be on top of the league again and that’s where we want to be. It’s our aim to be challenging for the league title so it’s fantastic when you win at home in front of another massive crowd and you’re leaving the RSC with three points.
“We had a couple of silly draws in the last couple of games that perhaps we should have been winning but we also conceded a couple of silly goals. To get back to winning ways at home and to keep a cleansheet is a massive boost in confidence for us all.
“I think when you grind out a result like we did tonight then it puts us in a good position. We dominated the game against UCD last week but only managed a draw where as we weren’t as good tonight but managed to win. That’s the difference in the winning and losing of the league.
“We could have scored another couple of goals tonight but we dug deep and showed our character as a squad to get the result. Our aim is to win the League and get promotion so we’re going to have to show the character if we’re going to achieve that.”
With competition for places in this year’s starting team high, Connor has had to be patient to get his opportunity in competitive games but the Tramore based goalkeeper wants to push on and keep his place with Ian McLoughlin’s return from injury imminent:
“I went a while without playing a game and now I have my opportunity. I want to be playing, I want to see my county back up in the Premier Division where it needs to be and I want to be part of it. I want to be on the pitch and that’s my aim so hopefully the good run will continue for us all.
“We have a South-East derby to look forward to now next week. The League table doesn’t matter for derby games and they’ll be well up for it. We need to be well up for it as well but so will we. We are now in a position where we need to win games and put a run together. Hopefully we can do that and put a gap between us and the rest of the teams near the top.”
Up next for Matthew Connor is a clash with former club Wexford at Ferrycarrig Park next Friday night where he’ll look to build on his impressive form of late.