“I felt it was a strange decision by the referee to award a penalty considering there were so many players inside the penalty area at the time. I thought he was giving us a free out, but listen these things happen in football and how knows we might get the break in the next match”.

Those were the opening remarks of the Waterford United manager Gareth Cronin five minutes after the full time whistle at the RSC last Friday. He did admit that he was disappointed with the full time result but he was also able to take positives from the game.

“We played some good football at times tonight and you could see the improvement from the opening game in Wexford. Having said that we did not really hurt them like I would have liked and that is the reason why we brought on Michael Foley so early in the second half.

“He played a vital role in the goal scored by Dave Warren. I thought Dave’s goal was a wonder goal and he will be a big player for us during this campaign. There were some fine performances by some of our players tonight.

“Luke Fitzpatrick. David Breen apart from the penalty incident and Kieran Fitzgerald were very good. With players like that we are well capable of putting for or five victories together on the run, starting with Athlone next Friday. The players are somewhat crest-fallen in the dressing room right now but that is good because it shows that they really care and that is what I want.

“I do need Vinny Sullivan to get on the score-sheet because he is a player who thrives on confidence. The goals will flow from him when he gets off the mark. A win in Athlone would set us up nicely for the two home games we have at home afterwards and I firmly believe we will get that win.

“I am disappointed for the supporters tonight because we are capable of playing better football and I want the team to show the home supporters what we are capable of”.

Before he returned to talk to his players in the dressing room, Gareth Cronin admitted that his side will have to get tough during the remainder of the marathon league campaign.

“This league is not a pretty league. Many of the teams are similar to Munster Senior League teams and pretty football will not be the order of the day. Teams will try and drag us down to their level, just as we did last season in the Premier League.

“We are regarded as one of the big teams in this league and we will have to be prepared to toughen up and meet those teams head on” Cronin added. He could be right you know!

The game in Athlone will be broadcast live by WLRfm thanks to Easy Living, Tony Burke Furniture, Six Cross Roads. Coverage will get underway at 7.40pm.