Waterford Crystal 1; Southend United 0
Waterford Crystal will play Dungarvan United in the next round of the FAI Junior Cup following his rather lucky victory over a Southend United team who created all of the chances but who could not find the net.
Failure to put away a host of opportunities cost United dearly and even the goal that Crystal scored had an element of luck about it. The winners of the Crystal and Dungarvan game will play away to either Killester United or Ballymun in the ‘open stage’ of this famous competition.
Crystal scored in their first real attack of the game on 12 minutes. Paul Quilty found room at the far post but his powerful drive brought the save of the game from Sean Walsh. The ball rebounded to Quilty who drilled across the box before being tripped by Michael Caulfield and the referee pointed to the spot. Keith Sheridan drove his penalty low and hard but the ball struck the foot of the post and rebounded to Sheridan of the ’keeper’s back before they volleyed Crystal into the lead.
Crystal then took their foot of the gas and allowed Southend to get a grip on the game. On 21 minutes Ian Caulfield floated a cross to the far post, but Dan Murphy’s header just went wide. Two minutes later Darren White cut inside the Crystal defence but his goalbound strike was superbly blocked two yards from the line by Jason Ryan.
On 25 minutes Arron Butler swung in a corner kick that the Crystal defence failed to deal with and the ball popped up to Kevin Gahan but he headed over from underneath the crossbar.
On the half-hour Southend had another great chance to draw level. Seamus Byrnes drove a long ball out of defence which beat the Crystal backline and Darren White was in the clear. The Southend striker raced into the box as Derek Hearne advanced from his goal, White slipped the ball past the ’keeper but it bounced wide.
Just before the break Southend had a chance to score once again. Caulfield crossed into the box and after a goalmouth scramble the ball fell to Dan Murphy but Hearne was quick of his line to smother the shot.
Crystal played much better in the second half, handling the Southend frontline and Martin Tynan and Conor Fell started to win the midfield battle. Chances were few and far between in the second period, however, though Southend went close on the hour mark when Darren White found himself free in the box but Barry Costine came across to block.
At the other end Tynan drove into the box and his shot forced a decent save from Sean Walsh. Back came Southend and with time running out they needed to score. Paddy Carey whipped a super free kick right across the face of goal but with no Southend player in the box the ball ran into the grateful arms of Hearne.
Southend then had the last chance of the game as the game went into stoppage time. Darren White played in Stephen Murphy but just as the big striker was about to shoot Barry Costine was once again on hand to block the shot and Crystal went into the next round.
Waterford Crystal: Derek Hearne, Alan Ryan (Jason Halloran, 62 mins),Jason Ryan, Barry Costine, Jason Phelan (John Gleeson, 70), Robbie Butler, Conor Fell, Martin Tynan, Shaun Corcoran, Paul Quilty, Keith Sheridan (Andrew Power, 89).
Southend United: Sean Walsh, Seamus Byrnes, Michael Merrigan, Kevin Gahan, Lee Russell, Ian Caulfield (Stephen Murphy, 88), Aaron Butler, Michael Caulfield, Darren White, David Croke (Paddy Carey, 82), Danny Murphy (Mark Phelan, 79).
Referee: Andrew Mullally.