FAI Cup Second Round
Drogheda United 0
Waterford FC 1
Waterford FC made it through to the last eight of the FAI Cup on Friday last in United Park when they edged out Drogheda United in what was a tight affair on rather cold night in County Louth.
The previous week the Blues turned on a brilliant performance when they defeated Derry City in the League at The Brandywell. On this occasion they did not reach any great heights but nevertheless they did just enough to book a place in the Quarter-Finals. The team showed two changes from seven days previously. Niall Corbett replaced Matthew Connor in goal and Paul Keegan came into the midfield with Sander Puri dropping to the substitutes bench. A wonderful strike by the magical Bastien Héry proved to be the difference between the two sides on the night.
Héry found the net with a well-struck shot from 25 yards after only four minutes and although the home side worked hard throughout the course of the 90 minutes, they never looked like scoring in a game that Niall Corbet did not have to make a single save of note.
The Blues, who were led out onto the pitch by mascot Jake Tubbritt, got their noses in front with their first attack on four minutes. Corbet’s long clearance out of the defence saw Izzy Akinade lay the ball off to Héry and his cracking drive flew past the Drogheda keeper Paul Skinner to give the Blues the perfect start to the game.Akinade went close to adding a second goal from the restart when he found space out of the right and after he nicked the ball past the keeper who seemed to foul the striker, the ball cleared the crossbar and although the Blues bench cried for a penalty, referee Robert Harvey pointed for a goal kick.Chris Lyons was over the crossbar with the first shot for Drogheda on 13 minutes before Richie Purdy had a strong penalty appeal turned down in the 31st minute when his angled drive deflected off a Waterford player, and the Drogheda midfielder was adamant that it struck a hand inside the area, but Harvey gave a corner kick.
The final chance of a cagey first half arrived for Noel Hunt six minutes later when he linked up with Izzy Akinade on the edge of the penalty area, but the shot from the former Republic of Ireland International resulted in a comfortable save from Paul Skinner.It must be said that the second half saw Waterford cope well with whatever Drogheda could throw at them as Kenny Browne and Dave Webster weren’t for passing. Garry Comerford put a 59th minute corner kick from the right on the head of Noel Hunt, but his near post header was just off target.
Drogheda had their best chance of the game five minutes later when Chris Lyons turned provider for Mark Doyle on the left-side of the penalty area, but he fired across the face of goal as the ball went harmlessly wide of Corbet’s far post.Izzy Akinade should have doubled the Waterford lead on 67 minutes when he raced onto an excellent through ball from Noel Hunt, but his effort in a one-on-one situation with keeper Paul Skinner was saved before the ball was cleared by defender Ciaran Kelly.Dessie Hutchinson had the final chance of the game six minutes later when he latched onto a pass from Akinade however his cracking right-footed shot was just inches wide of the left-hand post. Drogheda did have a bit of possession in the final minutes but in truth they never looked like scoring as the Blues held on for a quarter-final spot in the cup.