Waterford FC 2 Dundalk 1: Not even the best of script writers could have written the story as Waterford FC’s dream start to life back in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division continued as they moved to joint top of the table with a deserved 2-1 success over Dundalk in front of a massive 3,508 attendance at the RSC last night.
Dundalk controlled most of the first period. Michael Duffy was a threat down the right but he curled wide after skipping past Waterford’s Stanley Aborah after 12 minutes before the same player raced down the left eight minutes later but he was again off-target.
Waterford came into the game and had their first real chance in the final 10 minutes of the half; Izzy Akinade’s header from Aborah’s cross forcing Rogers into a good save.
And it was the home side who took an unlikely lead. Injury to Stephen O’Donnell meant six minutes of additional time — and Waterford took advantage. Rory Feely swung in ball forAkinade to rise above Dundalk keeper Gary Rogers to give the lead two minutes into added time.
The Blues lead was doubled in the seventh minute of stoppage time when Garry Comerford fizzed the ball into the feet of Akinade and he held off three defenders before slotting the ball low into the far corner.
But the goals weren’t done yet as Dundalk pulled a goal back in the ninth added minute of the half when Ronan Murray stepping up to fire a superb free-kick into the top corner that gave Lawrence Vigouroux no chance.
The hosts started the second half well and Gavan Holohan went close with a low strike minutes into the hal, before Pat Hoban saw his header easily saved by Vigouroux.
Paul Keegan had another chance for the Blues just after the hour mark but he fired off the inside of the post and across the face of Rogers’ goal and clear.
Hoban had another great chance as the game entered the final quarter; firing wide after a good cross from Duffy on the left wing as the visitors went in search of an equalising goal.
Robbie Benson went close for Dundalk with four minutes remaining but he fired wide from deep inside the penalty area. Chris Shields thought he had leveled in added time but his effort was blocked out by a Garry Comerford intervention.
Dylan Barnett brought a superb save out of Dundalk goalkeeper in the fourth added minute as his cracking left-footed strike was turned around the posts and the sound of the final whistle brought unbridled scenes around the RSC.
Oh the Blues are back alright and people are beginning to take note.
Vigouroux, Feely, Webster, Comerford, Barnett, Keegan, Héry, Aborah (Martin ’69), Holohan, Akinade, Duffus (Puri ’84).
Rogers, Gartland, Hoare, O’Donnell (Shields ’45), Duffy, Mountney, Hoban, Benson, Murray (Connolly ’63), Cleary (McGrath ’46), Jarvis.
Derek Tomney (Dublin).
By Adrian Flanagan – Irish Examiner