Kildare Co. 0 Waterford United 2
The thoroughbreds of Kildare County became the latest outfit to feel the full pressure of Waterford United’s rollercoaster run of victories on Saturday night last.
The small Station Road venue did not suit the Blues’ open style of football but nevertheless this victory was never in any real doubt. Waterford did not score during the course of the first half, something that has become the norm in recent weeks (Mervue and UCD) but once again they came good in the second period and duly collected the three points on offer to make it four league wins on the spin and five in total when you add in the EA Sports Cup semi-final victory.
Graham Cummins was once again the player who grabbed all of the headlines. He scored both goals to make it 14 goals in nine games. His total in the league is now 17, and 21 in all competitions. It comes as no surprise that loyal supporters are already comparing him with former goalscorers such as Johnny Matthews, Alfie Hale, Pascal Keane and Mick Bennett.
This guy is a very special talent indeed and when one considers that he was signed as a central defender it makes his tally even more remarkable.
Waterford laid siege on the Kildare goal from the outset. A John Kearney free after four minutes caused havoc inside the penalty area but the home defence eventually cleared the danger. Eight minutes later Kildare’s Philly Hughes picked out Trevor Bowers but he dragged his effort across the goal.
Graham Cummins flicked on a long clearance from goalkeeper Michael Devine on 19 minutes to Kevin Waters but Waterford’s longest-serving player saw his lob come crashing back off the crossbar.
David Grincell then ran onto a through ball from Kevin Murray but he shot wide with the home goalkeeper Darren Kelly advancing. The home custodian then produced a brilliant save from Waters on 34 minutes. Four minutes before the interval Grincell was inches wide following great work by John Kearney.
Waterford continued to press forward in the second half and the opening goal arrived on 58 minutes. John Kearney played the ball down the left flank to David Grincell, who was just about to be replaced by Willie John Kiely.
Grincell squared the ball to Graham Cummins who was running to the near post and he stabbed the ball to the net from close range.
Stephen Henderson changed the shape of the team after 73 minutes. He took off Stephen Grant and put Dave Warren into the middle with Paul Walsh moving to the outside right position.
However, Kildare almost equalised on 78 minutes when Trevor Bowers lashed in a low strike from 25 yards but Michael Devine produced a wonderful save. The Blues camped in the Kildare half after that scare and it was that man Cummins who scored again three minutes from full time.
Kieran Fitzgerald, who had replaced the injured Dave Warren five minutes earlier, picked out Cummins from the right and this time his looping header went over the head of the goalkeeper who appeared to lose his footing on the wet and greasy surface.
Kildare County: Darren Kelly, Craig Purcell, David Long, Liam Tiernan, Dean Lawrence, Trevor Bowers, David Jackson, Darren O’Brien, Christy Doran, Philly Hughes, David Lee. Subs: Colm Daly for Doran (51 mins), Baba Issaka for Lee (81 mins).
Waterford United: Michael Devine, Alan Carey, Kevin Murray, Kenny Browne, John Kearney, Dave Warren, Seamus Long, Stephen Grant, Kevin Waters, David Grincell, Graham Cummins. Subs: Willie John Kiely for Grincell (59 mins), Paul Walsh for Grant (73 mins), Kieran Fitzgerald for Warren (82 mins).
Referee: Padraig Sutton (Clare).