Blues take all three points at home to Pats

Blues take all three points at home to Pats

Waterford FC 1

St. Patrick's Athletic 0

Waterford FC picked up another vital three points at the RSC as Ben McCormack's 52nd-minute header gave the Blues all three points at home to St. Patrick's Athletic.

Sam Sergeant was the first of the two goalkeepers to be worked, getting down well to smother a Brandon Kavanagh effort before an ambitious volley from Ruairi Keating sailed well over. It was the visitors who started the brighter though, as Waterford struggled to find rhythm in the opening quarter.


Jake Mulraney whipped a great delivery into the box on 16 minutes but Mason Melia headed over - and it was Pat's who came closest to breaking the deadlock, Chris Forrester's superb effort from distance on 23 minutes cannoning back off the crossbar. The one bright note for the Blues was the performance of Grant Horton, who often came to the rescue in defence.

Forrester again came close on 28 minutes - fizzing an effort just wide of the left hand post, as Waterford simply couldn't get out of their own half. When they managed to break out, Christy Pattisson looked to have threaded through Padraig Amond one-on-one but for a fine intervention from Anthony Breslin.

Waterford started to wake on the half-hour mark and began to test the opposition, but clear cut chances remained few and far between. They registered an effort on target on 40 minutes - Dean McMenamy seeing an effort blocked before Padraig Amond's effort was blocked by Joseph Anang at his near post - and he just managed to get to the breaking ball before the lurking Pattisson.

A quickly worked free kick from Pats played in Jake Mulraney - but luckily for the hosts, Darragh Leahy was on hand to clear off the line. Scoreless at the break, with work to do for both sides.


The Blues broke quick in the second half - Jamie Lennon dragging down Pattisson and entering the referee's book, but Amond's effort cannoned back off the wall. Still, it didn't take long for the hosts to take the lead.

Darragh Leahy made a great overlapping run on the left-hand flank on 52 minutes, and his cross was met by a bullet header from Ben McCormack that caught out Anang at his near post - 1-0 to the Blues.

Ruairi Keating headed over as Pats sought a response while Kavanagh's free-kick was blocked by a resolute Waterford rearguard. McCormack very nearly found a second on 62 minutes testing Anang at his near post, but the Pat's stopper was on hand to turn the ball around the post.

Parsons was next to try his luck for the hosts, firing over inside the box when off balance - as Robbie McCourt replaced goalscorer McCormack.

Pats pushed forward in search of the equaliser but were repeatedly thwarted in their efforts, as the Blues looked value for their slender advantage approaching the final fifteen minutes. Stephen Kenny made a triple sub as he tried to inspire change - as Pattison again tested Anang from a wide angle.

The injured Rowan McDonald left the field to a standing ovation from the adoring Blues fans as the clock wound down, but a cagey few minutes awaited for the home support.

Parsons went down in the box on 83 minutes but was adjudged to have dived, before Niall O'Keeffe bravely blocked down a close-range free kick.

All eyes were on fourth official Daniel Murphy as to how much time would be added on - the sound of six minutes being met with audible groans around the ground. The Blues held firm for a vital three points - the race for Europe is on, with Keith Long's men firmly in the picture.

Waterford FC: Sam Sergeant; Darragh Power, Grant Horton, Kacper Radkowski, Darragh Leahy; Rowan McDonald (Niall O'Keeffe '82), Dean McMenamy, Christy Pattisson (Gbemi Arubi '90); Ben McCormack  (Robbie McCourt '68), Padraig Amond, Connor Parsons (Connor Evans '90)

St. Patrick's Athletic: Joseph Anang; Anthony Breslin (Al-Amin Kazeem '78) , Joe Redmond, Tom Grivostl; Jamie Lennon (Romal Palmer '78), Ruairi Keating (Alex Nolan '65), Chris Forrester, Mason Melia, Brandon Kavanagh (Cian Kavanagh '78), Jake Mulraney (Kian Leavy '50), Carl Axel Sjoberg

Referee: Rob Hennessy

Attendance: 2,786