Bastien Hery’s struck early to secure Waterford FC’s passage into the quarter final of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup after a 1-0 win over Drogheda United.
The Blues got their noses in front with their first attack on four minutes. Niall Corbet’s long clearance out of the defence saw Izzy Akinade lay the ball off to Héry and his cracking drive flew past Drogheda keeper Paul Skinner to give the Blues the perfect start to the game.
Akinade went close to adding a second goal from the restart when he found space out of the right and after he nicked the ball past the keeper who seemed to foul the striker, the ball cleared the crossbar and although the Blues bench cried for a penalty, referee Robert Harvey pointed for a goal kick.
Chris Lyons was over the crossbar with the first shot for Drogheda on 13 minutes before Richie Purdy had a strong penalty appeal turned down on 31 minutes when his angled drive deflected off a Waterford player but his appeals for handball were turned away by referee Harvey gave a corner kick.
The final chance of a cagey first half arrived for Noel Hunt six minutes later when he linked up with Akinade on the edge of the penalty area, but the shot from the former Republic of Ireland International resulted in a comfortable save from Paul Skinner.
The second half saw Waterford defend comfortably to whatever Drogheda could throw at them as Kenny Browne and David Webster weren’t for passing. Garry Comerford put a 59th-minute corner kick from the right on the head of Noel Hunt, but his near post effort was just off target.
Drogheda had their best chance of the game five minutes later when Chris Lyons turned provider for Mark Doyle on the left-side of the penalty area, but he fired across the face of goal as the ball went harmlessly wide of Corbet’s far post.
Akinade could have doubled the Waterford lead on 67 minutes when he raced onto an excellent through ball from Hunt, but his effort in a one-on-one situation with keeper Paul Skinner was saved before the ball was cleared by defender Ciaran Kelly.
Dessie Hutchinson had the final chance of the game six minutes later when he latched onto a pass from Akinade however his cracking right-footed shot was just inches wide of the left-hand post. Drogheda did have a bit of possession in the final minutes but in truth they never looked like scoring as the Blues held on for a quarterfinal spot in the cup.
Drogheda United: Paul Skinner; Kevin Farragher, Luke Gallagher, Ciaran Kelly, Mark Doyle; Sean Brennan (Robert Manley 75), Jake Hyland, Richie Purdy; Conor Kane, William Hondermarck (Colm Deasy 46), Chris Lyons.
Waterford FC: Niall Corbet; Rory Feely, Dave Webster, Kenny Browne, Garry Comerford; Paul Keegan; Bastien Hery, Dessie Hutchinson; Gavan Holohan (Dylan Barnett 86); Izzy Akinade, Noel Hunt (Dean O’Halloran 85).
Referee: Robert Harvey (Dublin).