Waterford FC produced an excellent second-half performance to see off the challenge of St. Patrick’s Athletic in their SSE Airtricity Premier Division with a 3-0 win.
Ciaran Kelly threw himself at a fine Jamie Lennon left-wing corner kick but the ball was cleared before Chris Forrester took a pass from Conor Clifford on 14 minutes however his effort was harmlessly wide of Matt Connor’s left-hand post.
Aaron Drinan had the first glimpse of goal for Waterford when the on-loan striker ran at the home defence, but he fired wide before Matthew Connor produced a top save to deny the hosts the lead after 19 minutes.
Chris Forrester was the player that carved out the chance when he spotted the run of St. Pats captain Ian Bermingham out on the left, but his first time left-footed strike from 14 yards was superbly saved by the legs of the Blues keeper.
The Blues had a glorious chance to take the lead on the half hour mark when a brilliant through ball from Cory Galvin sent Aaron Drinan clear on the right-side of the penalty area, but the centre forward dragged his shot wide of the far post.
After Aaron Simpson was forced off injured on the hour mark, his replacement Izzy Akinade struck for the lead goal on 63 minutes when he linked up with Karolis Chvedukas in a sweeping move before drilling a low right-footed shot to the left corner of the net past Brendan Clarke from 16 yards.
Cory Galvin nearly grabbed a stunning second goal five minutes later when he took advantage of a mistake in the Pat’s defence to take up possession of the ball 25-yards from goal, but his crisp right-footed shot whistled inches wide of the right-hand post with Clarke beaten.
The Blues doubled their lead with a superb second goal on 69 minutes when an excellent move saw Akinade slip the ball to Cory Galvin, who released Zack Elbouzedi and he held his composure to beat Brendan Clarke with a fine right-footed finish from inside the area.
Gary Shaw should have halved the deficit for the home side five minutes later when Jamie Lennon sent a ball into the area but the Pat’s striker struck the ball off the post from six yards.
Aaron Drinan had a header after an Elbouzedi corner kick deflected over the bar as the Blues continued to press on 83 minutes before Rory Feely put in an unbelievable block to deny Gary Shaw what looked a certain goal at the other end two minutes later.
A brilliant Waterford third goal arrived two minutes from full time when Matthew Connor produced a top save to deny David Webster and after Cory Galvin raced clear with the ball, he picked out the run of Aaron Drinan out on the right and he made no mistake when powering a right-footed shot past Clarke to put the icing on the cake.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke, Simon Madden, David Webster, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham (Jake Walker `80), Conor Clifford, Darragh Markey (James Doona `71), Chris Forrester (Gary Shaw `60), Cian Kelly, Jamie Lennon, Mikey Drennan
Waterford FC: Matthew Connor, Aaron Simpson (Izzy Akinade `60), Rory Feely, Damien Delaney, Georgie Poynton, JJ Lunney, Shane Duggan, Zack Elbouzedi, John Martin (Karolis Chvedukas `57), Cory Galvin (, Aaron Drinan
Referee: Ray Matthews (Kerry)