Waterford United 8; Salthill Devon 0
This was just what the doctor ordered. Following three defeats in a row, Waterford United returned to winning form last Tuesday night at the RSC – and what a return to form it proved to be.
Having lost away to Derry City in the league and then at home to Dundalk in the EA Sports Cup, followed by a heartbreaking defeat to Longford Town in the FAI Cup, the Blues players, manager and supporters badly required a boost and they certainly got that in this game. Apart from the goals scored, the team played superb football all through the 90 minutes.
Perhaps the visitors from Co Galway were not the best outfit ever to visit the Kilbarry venue but, nevertheless, this was a ruthless performance by Waterford. Vinny Sullivan scored half of the Blues’ total and the Dungarvan-born striker was the man who got the only goal of the game when the sides met in the first series of games in Drum back in March. It would be fair to say that Sullivan rubbed salt into very sore Devon wounds.
Paul McCarthy also enjoyed his best game in a blue shirt for many weeks and he chipped in with a brace. New signing Paul Murphy, who spent the past four seasons with Ipswich Town, came on as a second half substitute and, apart from scoring with a magnificent header, the ginger-haired Wexford native also brought his fellow strikers into the game with some superb running off the ball and he made it clear after the game that he wants to help the club win promotion. On the evidence of his 25 minutes on the field the 18-year-old may just get his wish.
Stephen Henderson revealed that Murphy got extremely homesick at Ipswich (shades of Shane Supple) and the Suffolk club did not want to release him. The Blues manager added that the Model County youngster may return to the club once again in the future but, for now, he will play a major role in Waterford’s promotion push.
Shane Barrett was another newcomer who was named in the squad on Tuesday. He did not get a call up during the game but Henderson said he was very happy to have secured a player who helped Cobh Ramblers win this division three years ago. Barrett is an attacking midfield player.
See The Munster Express newspaper for full match report.