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MATCH REPORT: Waterford FC vs Shamrock Rovers FC

Two goals inside the opening 20 minutes saw Waterford FC fall to defeat on Monday evening at the hands of Shamrock Rovers.

Early goals from Rhys Marshall and an Akin Odimayo own goal set Rovers on their way while the Blues were reduced to 10 men after just 16 minutes.

The home side made one change from Friday’s defeat with Shane Griffin replacing Scott Allardice.

The visitors started well and opened the scoring after just three minutes. Jack Byrne spread the ball wide to Rhys Marshall and his cross saw Waterford centre back Akin Odimayo slice the ball into his own net.

Waterford FC had a chance of their own after 13 minutes; Kevin O’Connor linked up with Ali Coote but Rovers defender Lee Grace did well to block Michael O’Connor’s strike.

Alan Reynolds’ side was dealt a massive blow on 16 minutes when they were reduced to 10 men. Andre Burley, booked for a foul in the build-up for the opener, picked up a second yellow for a foul on Dean Williams and was sent off.

Things went from bad to worse for the Blues from the resulting free-kick as Jack Byrne’s set-piece fell to Liam Scales who laid the ball off for Rhys Marshall to brilliantly curl into the top right corner of Murphy’s goal.

Brian Murphy saved from Byrne before Dylan Watts’ effort went narrowly wide as the visitors controlled the game.

Rovers could have increased their lead just before the interval. Byrne’s cross found Watts in first-half stoppage time but his header struck the top of the crossbar.

Rovers started the second half as they finished the first; well in control but neither Byrne or Watts could add to the score; Brian Murphy saving the latter.

The visitors continued to control the game and went close to adding a third but Greene could only find the woodwork before Murphy got down to save from Liam Scales minutes later.

Murphy was keeping the score down with Greene on target again but it was saved well.

Much as Waterford tried, they couldn’t create a chance of note to test Alan Mannus before Brian Murphy’s terrific save denied Watts a certain goal in the final minutes as the visitors ran out easy winners.

Waterford FC: Brian Murphy, Sam Bone, Andre Burley, Akin Odimayo, Tyreke Wilson, Ali Coote, Shane Griffin, Kevin O’Connor (Scott Allardice 81), Robbie McCourt, Michael O’Connor (Will Longbottom 46), Matty Smith (Will Fitzgerald 72).

Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus, Rhys Marshall (Neil Farrugia 72), Danny Lafferty, Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Greg Bolger, Dylan Watts, Aaron Greene (Thomas Oluwa 77), Liam Scales, Dean Williams, Jack Byrne (Brandon Kavanagh 64).

Referee: Ray Matthews