Gareth Cronin, the Waterford United manager, was looking forward to this game as he is a personal friend of the Shelbourne manager, Dermot Keely, but he was forced to go to the travelling supporters who had made the trip to Dublin and apologise for this poor display by his side.

“I was hurt and ashamed of that performance tonight. Dermot is a friend and former mentor of mine [at Kildare County] and to have to watch a display like that was just not on. We could not get the ball wide in the first half and we should have been 3-0 nil down at half-time.

“I gave my players a right rocket at half-time and we did create a few chances during a 10-minute spell but we wasted all of them. We got what we deserved tonight, zero, nothing. We were like a five-a-side team playing against men. We have lost the two games against Dundalk and Shels, in what many are calling a mini-league, including ourselves. Those two games have been away so we will have to beat them when we play them at home in the second series.

“Our away form is terrible and we will have to improve on the road, otherwise we will not win this league. We prepared well for this game. We travelled well and ate well. Everything was right then they go out and play like that. I cannot understand it”, concluded Cronin who will become under pressure if his team don’t gat their act together away from home sooner rather than later.