Bray Wanderers 1
Waterford FC 4
Following victories over Wexford and Athlone Town, Waterford FC made it a hat-trick of wins on Friday when they easily defeated Bray Wanderers in the Carlisle Grounds.
Playing under the guidance of Gary Hunt and David Breen for the third time since the departure of Ian Morris, this was another step in the right direction.
The Waterford FC team that defeated Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds on Friday last.
With both Cork City and Galway United winning also, the three points gained keeps the Blues in third position.
Next up is a home game against struggling Cobh Ramblers in the RSC on Friday and going on all known form this should see the Blues make it four wins on the bounce.
The caretaker duo made just one change for the match against the Seagulls with Jermie Milambo replacing the suspended Richard Taylor at left-full back.
The Blues created an early chance on five minutes when Tunmise Sobowale’s corner kick found Phoenix Patterson who put the ball on the head of Kilian Cantwell, but his free header just cleared the crossbar.
Ben Feeney went close with Bray’s first chance of note on 17 minutes but his stinging right-footed strike from 18 yards flashed over Brian Murphy’s crossbar
Shane Griffin carved out an opportunity four minutes later but he fizzed a right-footed shot just wide of Stephen McGuinness’s right-hand upright.
Waterford broke the deadlock with a stunning goal on 23 minutes when Louis Britton flicked on a Kilian Cantwell pass to Phoenix Patterson who cut inside brilliantly before rifling an unstoppable effort to the top far corner past a helpless McGuinness.
Blues skipper Eddie Nolan should have doubled the lead for the visitors on the half hour mark when he got onto a knocked-on Patterson free kick but couldn’t convert from close-range as Stephen McGuinness saved on the line.
Blues keeper Brian Murphy made a smart save to deny former Waterford player Kurtis Byrne, who came on as a half time substitute, an equalising goal on 50 minutes when he cracked in a snapshot from distance, but the netminder saved before the danger was cleared by Cantwell.
Louis Britton had a glorious chance to double the lead for the Blues on 53 minutes only to be denied by the netminder but the Blues did extend their advantage sixty seconds later.
Blues striker Louis Britton celebrates his second goal against Bray.
Eddie Nolan picked out Shane Griffin out on the left-side of the penalty area, and he cut past two Bray Wanderers before drilling a right-footed shot past a helpless Stephen McGuinness from 16 yards for his first league goal of the season.
Bray ensured a grandstand finish when they pulled a goal back on 87 minutes when Eoin McPhilips whipped over a right-wing corner kick to the back post where Kevin Knight powered a close-range header past Brian Murphy.
Blues winger Phoenix Patterson takes on the Bray defence.
The Blues regained their two goal advantage in second half injury time through Louis Britton when he raced onto a through ball from Nigel Aris, before cutting in brilliantly to beat McGuinness before adding a fourth in second half injury time after a pass from Eddie Nolan.
Bray Wanderers: Stephen McGuinness, Daniel Blackbyrne (Kurtis Byrne ’46), Kevin Knight, Keith Dalton, Kieran Marty Waters (Conor Knight ’86), Jack Hudson, Callum Thompson (Rob Manley ’65), Karl Manahan (Darragh Lynch ’86), Ben Feeney, Conor McManus, Dean Zambra.
Waterford FC: Brian Murphy, Tunmise Sobowale (Nigel Aris ’89), Eddie Nolan, Kilian Cantwell, Jeremie Milambo (Darragh Power ’58), Niall O’Keeffe, Shane Griffin, Yassine En-Neyah, Phoenix Patterson (Callum Stringer ’89), Roland Idowu (Liam Kervick ’83), Louis Britton.
Referee: David Keeler (Cork). Assistants Cieran O’Reilly and Conor Harkin.