Waterford FC suffered a 1-0 defeat away to Finn Harps on Friday night in the penultimate game of the 2019 season.
Finn Harps could have opened the scoring in the first minute when Nathan Boyle took a pass from Gareth Harkin. While assistant referee Declan Toland raised his flag for offside, Blues keeper Matthew Connor saved his shot but the whistle never came.
The home side struck the lead goal on six minutes. Mark Russell whipped in a brilliant right-wing free kick and Joshua Smith headed to the far corner past keeper Connor.
Alan Reynolds’ side had their first chance when Kevin Lynch crossed from the right into the area but an off-balance Walter Figueira blazed inched wide at the back post.
Lynch then set up Michael O’Connor but his right-footed shot was deflected out by defender Sam Todd.
Shane Duggan carved out a half chance for himself on 58 minutes when the midfielder picked up the ball on the edge of the area, but he couldn’t test Harps’ keeper Mark McGinley.
Connor kept the Blues in the game when he made a brilliant save to deny Harps a second goal ten minutes later when Raf Cretaro crossed from the right for Nathan Boyle but Connor saved on the line.
Walter Figueira had a chance for the Blues on 74 minutes, but he couldn’t direct his shot on target before Dean Walsh’s shot saw Finn Harps keeper McGinley make an excellent save.
It was Walsh that could have equalised with eight minutes remaining when he got his head on the end of Poynton’s right-wing cross, but the header under pressure from Sam Todd dropped over the bar.
The Blues had one last chance when Kevin Lynch started a move before finding the run of Zack Elbouzedi down the left side and after his cross found the inrushing Michael O’Connor, his effort was superbly saved by Mark McGinley as the Blues fell to a 1-0 defeat.
Finn Harps: Mark McGinley, Jacob Borg, Harry Ascroft, Joshua Smith, Mark Russell, Sam Todd, Gareth Harkin, Mark Timlin (Stephen Doherty 56), Ruairi Harkin (Daniel O’Reilly 77), Raffaelle Cretaro (Niall Logue 82), Nathan Boyle.
Waterford FC: Matt Connor, Sam Bone (Zack Elbouzedi 59), Rory Feely (Rob Slevin 72), Maxi Kouogun, Kevin Lynch, Shane Duggan, Tom Holland (Dean Walsh 72), JJ Lunney, Georgie Poynton, Michael O’Connor, Walter Figueira.
Referee: Damien MacCraith