Waterford FC fell to successive defeats after a 2-1 loss at the hands of Limerick in the Markets Field on Friday night.
The Blues had a great chance to open the scoring inside the opening two minutes. Courtney Duffus flicked a ball from Dylan Barnett into the path of Hunt. He was tugged back in the area as he shot and referee Damien MacGraith awarded the penalty.
Limerick defender Eoin Wearan was sent off but Blues captain Paul Keegan saw keeper Tommy Holland guess the right way to save. Keegan’s resulting corner kick picked out Noel Hunt but his header came back off the post.
The Blues missed another good chance to take the lead after 13 minutes. Bastien Héry intercepted a loose clearance in the middle of the midfield before sending Noel Hunt clear down the right. His pinpoint cross picked out the run of Courtney Duffus but he slipped at the vital moment as he set to shoot.
Conor Ellis blazed the ball over the crossbar from 12 yards as Limerick looked for the breakthrough. And that breakthrough arrived after the half hour. William Fitzgerald was pulled back by Blues defender Dave Webster and Billy Dennehy sent Matthew Connor the wrong way.
Stanley Aborah saw his right-footed 25-yard effort strike the outside of the left-hand post, before David Webster picked up a second yellow for a challenge on Connor Ellis in first-half stoppage time,
Alan Reynolds’ side came out on the attack at the start of the second half and were level within two minutes. Bastien Héry picked up possession on the half-way line as Courtney Duffus had collected Dessie Hutchinson’s ball from the penalty box. Hery, with options in Duffus and Hunt, chose to go himself and he fired the equaliser from 16 yards past Holland.
In a Limerick counter attack on the hour mark, Karl O’Sullivan got space down the right and after his deflected effort struck Dylan Barnett and looped goalwards but dropped over the far post with Matthew Connor stranded.
The Blues forced keeper Tommy Holland into a smart save just past the hour mark when Izzy Akinade knocked the ball down into the path of Hunt, but his left-footed strike saw Holland produce an excellent low save.
Hunt was involved again minutes later when the striker got on the end of Dylan Barnett’s left-wing cross, but his strike flew inches wide of the post.
The home side won the game with seven minutes left on the clock. Shane Duggan picked up the ball on the right side of the area before firing an unstoppable shot past Connor.
The Blues thought they’d equalised in the second minute of added time when Stanley Aborah sent in a corner kick from the right and the unmarked Izzy Akinade thought that he had scored. Despite the appeals of a number of players, keeper Holland held the ball as Limerick held on for points.
Limerick: Holland, Cantwell, Wearan, Brouder, Murphy, Coleman, Duggan, Maguire (O’Sullivan 31), Fitzgerald, Ellis (Morrissey 71), Dennehy
Waterford FC: Connor, Hutchinson, Browne, Webster, Barnett, Keegan (Wilson 79), Aborah, Héry, Puri (Feely 57), Hunt, Duffus (Akinade 57)
Referee: Damien MacGraith