Johnville 1; Waterford Crystal 4
Waterford Crystal, former winners of the FAI Junior Cup, are up and running in the competition once again following this facile victory in St Martin’s Park on Saturday afternoon last.
They did not score during the first half but it was a completely different story in the second as they turned on the style in the second 45 minutes and ran out comfortable winners. Johnville tried to make a game of it and did their best but they came up against a Waterford Crystal team who had one of their better days on a blustery afternoon in John’s Park.
The home side started well enough and when Gavin McLawrence went down far too easily under a challenge from Crystal netminder Derek Hearne on 12 minutes, referee Andrew Mullally was quick to issue the Johnville striker with a yellow card.
Keith Sheridan missed a great opportunity to put his side in the driving seat on 17 minutes when Shaun Corcoran dinked in a brilliant right-wing corner kick that found the head of the unmarked midfielder, but he headed over the crossbar from close range.
Paul Quilty was denied the opening goal less than sixty seconds later when he got on the end of a Keith Sheridan delivery but the centre-forward was stopped by the legs of Johnville netminder Peter Blahusiak.
Although Crystal began to up the ante, they were nearly caught out on 26 minutes when John Butler picked out Gary Kelly from a left-wing throw but the resulting right-footed 25-yard strike clipped the top of Derek Hearne’s crossbar.
Gary Kelly turned provider with a decent delivery from a left-wing free kick for Paul Cleary on 29 minutes but his header at the back post found the sidenetting before Cleary set up James Fatmusto; however he headed straight into the hands of keeper Hearne.
The second half was less than two minutes old when Jason Ryan got on the end of a Conor Fell cross, but his header found the side-netting.
A cracking Crystal move led to the opening goal on 54 minutes. Jason Phelan did well to pick out Keith Sherldan with a neat pass and when his cross found Paul Quilty at the back post, the latter flicked the ball superbly into the path of Robbie Butler and he hammered an unstoppable right-footed strike past the Johnville netminder.
Their lead lasted less than 10 minutes as second-half substitute Keith Ryan got free at the back post to meet a Gavin Phelan corner kick from the right and he powered a header past the helpless Derek Hearne from close range.
Robbie Butler had a decent chance saved by the legs of Peter Blahusiak on 64 minutes following a great four-man move. From the resultant corner kick Shaun Corcoran put his side in front when superbly curling the ball to the net.
Quilty was twice denied by the Johnville keeper before the striker latched onto a long kick out from Derek Hearne on 76 minutes and when he was brought down on the edge of the area by John Kennedy, the latter received his marching orders from referee Andrew Mullally for a second yellow card.
The striker did get on the scoresheet on 84 minutes when he bundled a Shaun Corcoran left-wing cross over the line after his first effort was blocked and two minutes later, Robbie Butler latched onto a great Corcoran pass before slotting home to ensure his side’s passage into the next round.
Johnville: Peter Blahusiak, Peter Cleary, John Butler, Dan Murphy (Keith Ryan, HT), John Kennedy, Gavin Phelan, Valdo Bulvais, Kristian Walsh (John O’Leary, 66 mins), Gavin McLawrence, Gary Kelly and James Fatmusto (Christopher Purcell, 82).
Waterford Crystal: Derek Hearne, Alan Ryan (Adam Forsey, 26 mins), Jason Phelan, Barry Costine, Jason Ryan, Liam Coady, Shaun Corcoran (Johnny Gleeson, 88), Keith Sheridan, Conor Fell, Paul Quilty (Jason Halloran, 87) and Robbie Butler.
Referee: Andrew Mullally.