Waterford United 5 Athlone Town 1
Having taken only one point from their previous four games Waterford United bounced back to form in great style at the RSC on Friday night last in what was the opening game of the final series of games in the current league campaign. On the opening day of the season these two teams played out a dull boring draw at the same venue but on this occasion they produced a cracking game.
Star of the show was Blues striker Paul Murphy who scored a hat-trick. The Wexford native has been suffering from injuries in recent times but he looked really sharp all through this contest. Paul Phelan out on the left flank and Paul Walsh on the right also stepped up to the plate. Gary Dunphy enjoyed a wonderful second half and David Breen, who had to replace the injured Conor Sinnott early on, also played his part in this superb victory.
With an away trip to bogey team Monaghan next on the cards followed by the big FAI Cup game at home to St Patrick’s Athletic this was the result and performance which everyone was looking for. With Willie John Kiely and Michael Coady due back from injury things are beginning to look up for Waterford.
Paul Murphy had a chance to score in the first minute when he took a through ball from Paul Walsh but he shot wide. One minute later however he did find the net after he made contact with a sublime ball from Paul Phelan. The Blues almost increased their advantage on 11 minutes when Paul Phelan cracked in an angled drive from the left but the visiting goalkeeper Michael Schlingermann tipped the ball around his left upright.
Conor Sinnott limped off hurt after 13 minutes and David Breen came off the bench to replace him in the middle of the park. Paul Walsh should have scored seconds later when he was put clear by a long ball from Kevin Murray but he shot straight at the Athlone goalkeeper.