Athlone Town 1; Waterford United 2

Waterford United remained in the promotion and play-off positions following this dramatic victory in Lissywollen on Saturday night last but that fact is only half the story.

The Blues had to play for almost 70 minutes with just nine players as Graham Cummins and Kenny Browne were both sent off harshly by the Dublin-based referee Rob Rogers. Both will be available, however, to play in Saturday’s EA Sports Cup final but they will miss the next league game at home to Longford and possibly the games against Limerick and Mervue in the league.

The Longford suspension is automatic. The rest of the suspensions kick in after October 14th. However, it all depends on the referees report. They may get just one game or perhaps two games.

This match also marked Vinny Sullivan’s first goal for the club since his return and the Dungarvan striker has never scored a more important goal in his career. This was a stunning victory for Waterford United. It came as no surprise when manager Stephen Henderson said the players had given “their heart and soul” to secure this vital win to keep the Blues’ promotion hopes alive.

Quick red cards

Waterford lined out with a 4-3-3 formation and the same players who had knocked St Patrick’s out of the FAI Cup the previous Tuesday were on duty. Willie John Kiely and Stephen Grant went reasonably close for Waterford during the opening 10 minutes but the game was turned on its head after 21 minutes when Graham Cummins received a red card. The referee took advice from his assistant Eugene Deering who claimed that Cummins had raised his hand and pushed Niall O’Reilly, and Waterford’s leading goalscorer was near to tears as he departed the field.

See The Munster Express newspaper for full story.