Waterford FC are within touching distance of promotion to the Premier Division after beating Wexford FC 3-0 at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday.
The Blues set the tempo of the game with Mark O’Sullivan and Sander Puri failing to get on good crosses into the area before Danny Bolger was called into action on 19 minutes. Sean Heaney sent in a ball from the left that found Puri but his low left-footed shot from 16 yards was well saved by the home netminder.
Waterford broke the deadlock just five minutes later when a superb ball out of defence from Kenny Browne picked out John Martin and after he flicked the ball into the path of Mark O’Sullivan, he found the net with a neat finish from close range.
O’Sullivan could have doubled the Blues lead on 26 minutes when he took a pass from Sander Puri on the left-side of the penalty area but he failed to beat keeper Bolger at his near post as his right-footed shot went into the sidenetting.
Thomas Croke could have brought Wexford FC back on level terms with 31 minutes on the clock when the midfielder rose unchallenged deep inside the penalty area to meet Adam Hanlon’s right-wing free kick but he couldn’t direct his header on target.
Wexford keeper Danny Bolger produced a top save to deny the visitors to Ferrycarrig Park a second goal five minutes when midfielder Paul Keegan took possession of the ball 25-yards from goal but his well struck right-footed effort was turned around the posts for a corner kick.
Some brilliant build-up play from Waterford nearly yielded a goal on 38 minutes when Keegan fed Garry Comerford, who sprayed the ball out to the right channel for Aaron Drinan but his stinging right-footed shot from 14 yards was inches wide of Bolger’s near post.
A second Blues goal did arrive two minutes before the sound of the half time when Sander Puri looked to have been dragged down as he raced clear on goal but when the ball broke to Mark O’Sullivan, he drilled an unstoppable right-footed shot low to the left-corner of the net past a helpless Danny Bolger.
O’Sullivan did have a half chance to grab his hat-trick six minutes into the second half when he latched onto a breaking ball into the area from Paul Keegan but his snapshot failed to trouble keeper Bolger as the ball went harmlessly wide of the right-hand post.
With the Blues looking dangerous with every attack, John Martin superbly control a long ball from Kenny Browne on 57 minutes but he fired over the bar before Paddy Barrett rose highest in the area to meet a Keegan delivery two minutes later however keeper Danny Bolger saved.
Waterford put the game to bed with 15 minutes remaining in the contest when brilliant counterattacking football saw Garry Comerford linked up with Paddy Barrett, who fed John Martin and after Bolger failed to hold the ball, the attacker fired the rebound to the net.
Aaron Drinan could have put the icing on the cake in second half injury time when he got on the end of a right-wing Dean O’Halloran cross but Wexford defender Craig McCabe got in a vital block as the Blues faithful were left dancing to the tune of Madness at the final whistle.
Wexford FC: Danny Bolger, Craig McCabe, Conor Sutton, Ross Kenny, Owen McCormack, Thomas Croke (Shane Dunne `66), Adam O’Rourke (Danny Doyle `79), Mikey Byrne, Aaron Dobbs, Dean George (Aaron O’Connor `54), Adam Hanlon
Waterford FC: Matthew Connor, Anthony McAlavey, Paddy Barrett (Jack Lynch `90), Kenny Browne, Sean Heaney, Paul Keegan, Garry Comerford, Sander Puri (Dean Walsh `76), John Martin (Dean O’Halloran `82), Aaron Drinan, Mark O’Sullivan
Referee: Eoghan O’Shea (North Tipperary)