FAI Junior Cup. Round 4
Waterford Crystal 0
The Villa cruised into Round 5 of the FAI Cup on Saturday night in Connors Park. Both sides are close together at the right end of the Waterford Premier League and a close contest was predicted the home side proved to be much too strong on the night. The fact that Crystal, former winners of the national cup competition, were short a number of first team players did not help matters but that was not the fault of the hosts and they certainly put Crystal to the sword during the 90 minutes.
On their day the current Villa outfit, who are managed by Conor Coad, are a match for anyone and they proved that fact during this contest. Their young players are full of running and they did not hold back on this occasion on what was a bitterly cold night. The visitors created the first chance on nine minutes when Andrew Power whipped in a cross to the back post for the head of Aidan Tracey, but he couldn’t his effort on target as the ball went wide.Shane Rochford had a chance for Crystal on 17 minutes when he picked up possession on the edge of the penalty area, but his well struck left-footed strike saw Villa keeper Stephen Doheny get down to his right to keep out the shot.
Villa shocked their opponents with the breakthrough goal from a set piece nine minutes later when Niall McCabe sent in a good corner kick to Roy Butler who touched the ball into the path of Liam Barber, and he hammered the ball past keeper Dale Sheridan.Callum Stringer had a penalty appeal turned down with 34 minutes on the clock when he raced onto a ball from the midfield of the park and although he could his shot away under pressure from Corey Gallagher, he cried foul after keeper Sheridan saved, but referee Chris Maher was unmoved.
Villa doubled their lead two minutes before half-time when Luke Kervick split the Crystal defence with a fine ball and sent Aaron O’Connor clear and he rounded keeper Dale Sheridan and finished to an unguarded net.
The second half was all Villa as Crystal failed to raise a comeback and more disappointingly from their point of view is that they failed a single shot at Stephen Doheny.John Kavanagh had the chance to put the game to bed on 55 minutes when he raced onto a pass from John Fredrick Tamen, but his shot was inches wide of Sheridan’s far post.Niall McCabe put his side in the driving seat on the hour mark when he got on the end of a Tamen left-wing cross and although his stunning left-footed shot came crashing back off the near post, McCabe didn’t miss the rebound when he planted a right-footed finish past Dale Sheridan.
Aaron O’Connor forced Sheridan into a fine save on 82 minutes and then grabbed his second goal of the contest four minutes from time when he controlled a lovely pass from Luke Walsh and finished left-footed to the far corner.