Sporting Fingal 3; Waterford United 1
This was as bad as it gets. A sloppy display, two bad injuries, a player sent off and valuable ground lost in the race for promotion. The result means that Waterford are now six points off the leaders and Sporting Fingal have joined the Blues on a total of 24 points.
Apart from a handful of good moves during the course of the 90 minutes this was Waterford’s worst performance of the season and now they will have to travel to Limerick on Friday without four regular players as Paul McCarthy, Dave Warren, Kenny Browne and Stephen Quigley who was red carded in this game are all ruled out. Troubled times indeed.
Waterford opened up brightly enough with Dave Warren playing a short free-kick to Michael Foley but he had his effort saved by Steve Williams. That move after 4 minutes was followed by another Foley shot on 15 minutes following a pass from Willie John Kiely but the left winger shot went high over the crossbar.
Sporting Fingal opened the scoring on 17 minutes. Stephen Quigley failed to tackle Conan Byrne and when the right winger squared the ball from the endline, Paul Caffrey hammered a shot past Ben Spicer who was playing his first game for the Blues for over 12 months.
The second Fingal goal proved to be a comedy of errors from a Waterford point of view. A long ball forward was knocked on by Robbie Doyle and it appeared that David Breen had cleared but he only succeeded in knocking the ball across the penalty area. Kenny Browne then attempted to clear but he was dispossessed by Doyle who in turn passed the ball back to Peter Hynes and he curled a smashing effort past Spicer from just inside the penalty area.
The goalkeeper must have wished he had remained in Australia where he spent 12 months!
Waterford pulled a goal back just before half-time. Michael Foley sent over a corner kick from the right and Willie John Kiely headed home from 8 yards.
Whatever chance the Blues had of getting something from the game disappeared completely on 71 minutes when Stephen Quigley hauled down Peter Hynes inside the box and Robbie Doyle sent Ben Spicer the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Four minutes later Quigley was sent off for a two footed lunge on Brian Gannon. Paul McCarthy was taken to hospital with a bad ankle injury and Dave Warren went off with a hip injury.
David Breen did strike a header off the crossbar late on but at that stage the game was well and truly over. No wonder Gareth Cronin, the Waterford manager described the Morton Stadium as “a very lonely place” after the game.
Waterford United: Ben Spicer, Stephen Quigley, Robbie Clarke, David Breen, Kenny Browne, Dave Warren, Paul McCarthy, Gary Dunphy, Vinny Sullivan, Willie John Kiely, Michael Foley. Subs: Joe Mulcahy for McCarthy (40 mins),Luke Fitzpatrick for Warren (h-t), David Grincell for Dunphy (73 mins).