Another bumper crowd witnessed Waterford FC maintain top spot in the the SSE Airtricity League First Division table as goals from Kenny McEvoy and a match winner from Patrick McClean gave the Blues a 2-1 win over Munster rivals Cobh Ramblers at the RSC last night.
1,685 turned up for this latest home instalment in the club’s bid for promotion to the top flight and although it wasn’t a vintage performance from the hosts during stages of the game, it was the result that mattered at the final whistle.
It was a game that had some brilliant passages of play but overall, the performance of the Blues wasn’t to the same zest that the team has produced in recent weeks and one must credit Cobh Ramblers as they made life difficult.
Waterford took the lead with their first meaningful attack on 12 minutes. Derek Daly whipped in a cross from the left to the front post for Mark O’Sullivan but after his header was blocked by defender Ben O’Riordan, the striker turned provider for Kenny McEvoy to fire home from close range.
After losing Kenny Browne to injury six minutes later, his replacement Gary Delaney was caught in possession soon afterwards when he was dispossessed by Matthew Whelan but his shot from the left side of the penalty area was saved by the legs of Matthew Connor.
Whelan was denied by again by a fine Connor save on 22 minutes after he cracked in a shot from the edge of the box before Daly tried his luck from distance up the other end however his goalbound effort was blocked by his own teammate Dean Walsh.
Matthew Connor was called into action to make another save on 41 minutes when Whelan took the ball on the left-side of the area before turning onto his right foot but he failed to beat the Blues netminder from 16 yards.
HALF TIME 1-0
Craig Donnellan created the first chance of the second period on 48 minutes when he got free on the right side of the penalty area but his well struck shot was gathered by Connor at the second attempt.
Cobh were back on level terms through a fortunate own goal five minutes later. Ian Mylod sent in a free kick from the right that was powered to his own net by Waterford defender Gary Delaney past a helpless Connor.
The equaliser rocked the home side as the visitors began to force the issue going front. Charlie Fleming put in a cross from the right on 68 minutes that broke to Stephen Christopher but the Cobh winger blazed his effort inches over the crossbar.
WATERFORD FC: Matthew Connor, Patrick McClean, David Mulcahy, Garry Comerford, Shane O’Connor, Mark O’Sullivan, Dean Walsh (Anthony McAlavey `62), Derek Daly, Kenny McEvoy (Dean O’Halloran `73), Kenny Browne (Gary Delaney `18), Tom Smith
COBH RAMBLERS: Paul Hunt, Charlie Fleming, Ian Mylod, Ben O’Riordan, James McSweeney, Cian Coleman, Stephen Christopher, Craig Donnellan, Matthew Whelan (Ross Mann `76), Karl Caulfield, Scott McCarthy (Kyle McNamara `66)
Referee: Eoghan O’Shea