Waterford FC U19 1 (Eddie Black 10’) U.C.D. U19 3 (Sean Quinn 37’, Andy O’Reilly 70’, Cian Ryan 88’)
U.C.D. came from behind for the second week running as they fought back from a goal down to seal a 3-1 win at the RSC to send the Students top of the SSE Airtricity League U19 Elite Division.
Blues boss David Breen made five changes from his side’s 1-1 draw the previous weekend away to Galway United with Ben Murray, Cian Flanagan, Glenn Waters, Eddie Black and Tunmise Sobowale replacing Paul Martin, Darragh O’Connor, Shane Griffin, Justin Croke and Michael Carroll in the starting XI while John Martin recovered from the knock that forced him off in the first half last week to start up top alongside Sean Roche.
It was an encouraging opening spell for the young Blues who threatened twice off free-kicks from Owen Wall before on 10’ his pinpoint cross found Eddie Black who made no mistake with the finish to hand the home side the advantage.
Waterford came close to adding to their lead on 16’ when a punch out by goalkeeper Conor Kearns fell to Glenn Waters who had his effort blocked before Tunmise Sobowale fired over the bar from distance. A minute later, Waterford broke the U.C.D. offside trap again when Sean Roche was played through on goal but his lobbed effort on the advancing Kearns went narrowly over.
On 19’ the Blues threatened again, this time Right-Back Cian Flanagan got down the flank to good effect, crossed for Roche in the box but his effort went narrowly over the bar with the goalkeeper beaten.
From the resultant goal-kick, U.C.D. fashioned their first notable effort of the game when Kevin Coffey got the beating of Darragh Corcoran down the wing, his dangerous ball into Sean Quinn in the box had the Waterford defence stretched but the striker’s shot was superbly turned around the post by Ben Murray in the Blues’ goal.
On 21’, Wall intercepted a misplaced pass in midfield to break on the U.C.D. defence, having beaten one man, he attempted an effort on goal that was well blocked by Joe Manley at the back for U.C.D.
The Blues opening twenty minutes or so was encouraging for David Breen and his management team but the threat of U.C.D. started to grow with Conor Crowley and Andy O’Reilly beginning to get a foothold in the middle of the park. A mix up in the Blues defence on 25’ almost let U.C.D. back into it. The lively Yousef Mahdy raced clear through one v one with goalkeeper Murray but for the second time, Murray pulled of a top class save when a goal looked certain, forcing the shot behind for a corner.
On the half mark, John Martin did well for the Blues to create a chance. The Kilkenny native picked up the ball wide in the left channel, beat his marker Darragh Corcoran, crossed in for Roche who laid it off to the advancing Glenn Waters. Waters initial effort was blocked by Manley in the U.C.D. defence but Sobowale again tried his luck from distance, this time safely into the hands of Kearns in the U.C.D. goal.
On 36’, U.C.D. goalkeeper Kearns was adjudged to have handled outside his box when coming to meet another Blues ball over the top. After a stern talking to from referee Pat O’Connor, Kearns made amends by saving the resultant free-kick effort that was whipped in by Waters.
The students went up the other end to win a free-kick themselves on the left. Crowley’s excellent delivery was met by the head of Sean Quinn at the back post who nodded home to equalise, somewhat against the run of play despite the two fine saves that Murray had pulled off earlier in the half.
HALF TIME 1-1
U.C.D. started the second half brightly, winning a series of corners that were well dealt with by the Waterford defence without Murray being overly tested while the influential Crowley turned creator again after a good break down the left hand side, he pulled the ball back to fellow midfielder O’Reilly but the U.C.D. captain dragged his effort across the face of goal.
With the pressure mounting on the Waterford goal, on 69’ U.C.D. again threatened from a corner, this time Crowley’s ball met by Yousef Mahdy’s head but blocked on the line by the well positioned Corcoran for the home side. With the ball cleared behind for another corner, the Blues defence couldn’t repeat their previous efforts and failed to pick up O’Reilly who hit home off the upright, Crowley picking up his second assist of the game in the process.
Both sides threatened through corners in the following exchanges. On 73’, Crowley’s corner was met by the head of Quinn at the backpost but he headed wide while on 78’, substitute Shane Griffin for Waterford delivered a corner that was met by Martin in the U.C.D. box but he couldn’t direct his effort on target.
Waterford forced a number of corners in the closing stages with Justin Croke’s deliveries causing problems and Sean Roche going close but it was on the break that U.C.D. found the important third goal to kill off the game. The fresh legs of John O’Keane broke clear down the right wing, his excellent cross into the box was met first time by fellow substitute Cian Ryan to wrap up the game for the visitors on 88’ and send them top of the SSE Airtricity League U19 Southern Elite Division.
WFC U19: Ben Murray; Cian Flanagan (Adam Feeney 65’) – Jack Lynch – Eoghan Rea – Darragh Corcoran; Eddie Black – Glenn Waters (Shane Griffin 46’) – Tunmise Sobowale (Sean Cooke 79’) – Owen Wall (Michael Carroll 72’); John Martin (Justin Croke 79’) – Sean Roche.
Unused subs: Paul Martin, Darragh O’Connor
UCD U19: Conor Kearns; Evan Farrell – Darragh Corcoran – Joe Manley – Mark Dignam; Conor Crowley (Luka Lovic 91’) – Andy O’Reilly; Kevin Coffey (John O’Keane 72’) – Yousef Mahdy (Cian Ryan 72’) – Sean McDonald (Dylan Rowe 87’); Sean Quinn (Ryan Meaney 81’).
Unused subs: Finn McGowan, Luke Boore
Referee: Pat O’Connor (Kilkenny)