St Patrick’s Athletic 0; Waterford Utd 2
He also stated that his charges would take the game to Jeff Kenna’s men from the off. When the teams were announced it was clear he was a man of his word. He left out the two wide players from the original game, namely Kevin Waters and Joe Mulcahy, and brought in Dave Warren and Vinny Sullivan.
He opted to play a 4-3-3 formation with Graham Cummins, Willie John Kiely and Sullivan as out-and-out strikers and his tactics work a treat because St Pats were under the kosh for long periods. So much so that come the final whistle it was no surprise that the Blues had booked a semi-final spot along with Sporting Fingal, Sligo Rovers and Bray Wanderers.
This was a truly magnificent display by Waterford United. Each and every player worked his socks off, and long before the finish the Premier League outfit looked shattered, having been run ragged by the rampant visitors.
Early in the second half the St Pats supporters were shouting ‘Kenna out’ and the former Ireland full-back cut a lonely figure as he sat in the dugout with his head bowed. It is worth noting that this was a St Patrick’s team who had charged through Europe just a few weeks previously, including a fantastic victory in South Russia.
Waterford’s victory means that apart from their promotion push, they are still on course for a cup double this season (a treble if one adds in the Munster Senior Cup which was won some months ago).
On Saturday, September 26th they will play Bohemians in the final of the EA Sports Cup at the RSC. The Gypsies are going through a terrible time at the moment. Their defeat to Sporting Fingal in their FAI Cup quarter-final on Tuesday night means they will be under fierce pressure to win the old league cup competition next weekend.
Waterford almost took the lead after seven minutes when the St Pats’ defender Jason Gavin failed to deal with an easy ball played forward by John Kearney. Willie John Kiely took possession and ran at goal but his low shot from the right went inches wide of the far post.
The home side were awarded a free kick on 15 minutes. Former Blues player Alan Cawley struck a low shot from 22 yards but Michael Devine dived to his right and smothered the ball on the line.
The deadlock was broken on 24 minutes. John Kearney played a pass to Vinny Sullivan who laid the ball off to right full-back Alan Carey who scored with an audacious cross-shot from 30 yards. Goalkeeper Gary Rogers was left scrambling as the ball flew over his head.
Sullivan almost scored his first goal for the club since his return when he cracked in an angled drive from the right. The ball took a deflection off Gavin and Rogers somehow managed to clutch the ball, albeit with a great deal of difficulty.
His opposite number Devine pulled off a magnificent save from Cawley on 35 minutes from another free kick – the Blues No1 showing why he is still rated one of the best ‘keepers in the country.
His side doubled their advantage on 39 minutes. Kiely sent his strike partner Cummins on his way down the left flank. Cummins raced forward and, after skipping around Gavin, fired in an angled shot which Rogers failed to hold before Kiely, who had continued his run from the halfway line, tucked the ball home from two yards.
The only time St Pats looked like scoring from open play arrived seven minutes into the second half. Ex-Waterford midfielder Gary Dempsey, who had bagged the equaliser at the RSC in the drawn tie, played a quick free kick to Glen Fitzpatrick but he was taken by surprise and he shot across goal from the right.
Waterford took full control of the game from then until the full-time whistle and Cummins was a little unlucky when Gavin took the ball off his foot on 61 minutes as he was just about to score from 12 yards.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Gary Rogers, Damien Lynch, Jason Gavin, Stuart Byrne, Darragh Ryan, Alan Carey, Gary Dempsey, Bobby Ryan, Enda Stevens, Glen Fitzpatrick, Ryan Guy. Subs: Jamie Harris for Cawley (h-t), Mark Leech for Fitzpatrick (61 mins), Stephen Maher for Harris (64).
Waterford United: Michael Devine; Alan Carey, Kevin Murray, Kenny Browne, Seamus Long; Dave Warren (Kevin Waters, 83 mins), Stephen Grant, John Kearney; Vinny Sullivan, Graham Cummins, Willie John Kiely (Joe Mulcahy, 80); subs not used: Kevin Burns, Declan Woodgate, Kieran Fitzgerald, Gary Dunphy, Paul Carey.
Referee: Anthony Buttimer (Cork).