Ferrybank 4; Southend United 1
This was the most extraordinary game of football seen in Waterford for many a long day. Southend United had two players sent off during the course of the first half. They were awarded no less than three penalties and they missed two of them. Ferrybank could hardly believe what was unfolding in front of them and needless to say they took full advantage of the misfortune which was heaped on their opponents.
The woodwork was struck many times by both sides and Kevin Roche bagged a hat-trick. Amazing stuff. The outfit from Abbeylands will now play their old foes Carrick United away on Sunday next. Carrick and Ferrybank have met on a regular basis in cup competitions in recent years and the majority of those games have been very tight indeed.
Southend United are struggling in the Premier League and they can now concentrate on trying to hold on to their league status.
Southend United were awarded their first penalty after only two minutes. Ian Galgey got free on the right and when he shot at goal a Ferrybank defender was forced to handle inside the 18-yard box. The experienced Paddy Dooley took the spot kick but his effort struck the crossbar and flew over.
The visitors were denied by the woodwork once again on 12 minutes when Daniel Murphy struck an upright direct from a corner kick. The ball fell back into the path of Dooley but he was caught by surprise and could not keep his effort on target.
The frame of the goal came to the rescue of Southend on 26 minutes when Paddy Mullally flicked the ball on to Damien Heffernan but his effort came back off the butt of Sean Walsh’s upright.
Seamus Byrnes, the Southend United full-back, went close to breaking the deadlock on two occasions after that scare. Hugh Mullally, the home goalkeeper, saved from him on 39 minutes following a pass from Paddy Dooley. The ball rebounded to Byrnes but this time he saw defender Ian Mullally block his blast at goal.
Three minutes later Ian Galgey became the first player to receive a red card for making his views known to the math official. Moments later Ian Caulfield followed him in for an early shower, also for a bout of dissent. Things almost got worse for the visitors one minute later when Brian Mallon struck the crossbar with the resultant free kick.
Mountain too high
Having to play the second half with nine players was too high a mountain for Southend to climb and Ferrybank took the lead early in the second period. Colm Roche played the ball through the visiting defence and Kevin Roche was in the right place to score the first of his three goals.
Southend battled on manfully and Darren White hit the Ferrybank woodwork for the third time. A few minutes later, Southend were awarded their second spot-kick after Patrick Heffernan brought down Darren White. Michael Caulfield took the penalty this time but once again Hugh Mullally was equal to the task.
Three minutes after that miss Kevin Roche made it two-nil with a simple goal. At this stage Southend were finding the going really tough with just nine players. Kevin Roche completed his hat-trick on 68 minutes after he raced on to a Cormac O’Meara pass before slipping the ball past Sean Walsh.
Almost beyond belief Southend United were awarded a third penalty after Paddy Barrett was taken down by Richard Gaffney. Daniel O’Sullivan made it third time lucky for the visitors when he managed to get the better of Mullally who did get a hand to the ball but was unable to keep it out.
Ferrybank scored their fourth in the last minute through Cormac O’Meara. His angled strike went into the net off the inside of the far post. That goal brought the curtain down on what was a remarkable contest.
Ferrybank: Hugh Mullally, Damien Heffernan, Ian Mullally, Christopher Hoban, Patrick Heffernan (Richard Gaffney, 62 mins) Colm Roche, Graham Penkert (Cormac O’Meara, 62) Brian Mallon, Paddy Mullally, Kevin Roche, Cormac O’Driscoll (Shane Mallon, 62).
Southen United: Sean Walsh, Seamus Byrnes, Michael Merrigan, Kevin Gahan, Michael Caulfield, Daniel Murphy (Paddy Barrett, 62) Ian Caulfield, Paddy Dooley, Ian Galgey, Darren White (Mark Phelan, 73), David Croke (Daniel O’Sullivan, 73)
Referee: Anthony Walsh.