Shamrock Rovers 1 Waterford FC 1
Waterford FC came home from the Tallaght Stadium with a valuable point on Friday night last. Played on what was a glorious May evening, Waterford dominated the opening 45 minutes and went in at the interval leading one nil and in truth they could have had another goal or two to show for their efforts.
Stephen Bradley the Hoops manager withdrew Gary Shaw and Ally Gilchrist for the second period and brought on Dan Carr and Brandon Miele and those two players certainly improved the fortunes of the hosts and they dominated the second period, so at the end of this entertaining contest a draw was the fair outcome. Alan Reynolds had to plan without central defenders Kenny Browne and David Webster and another defender Garry Comerford got injured in the pre-match warmup and as a result he had to parade a makeshift back four. Derek Daly slotted in at left fullback and Sander Puri at right fullback with Rory Feely and Dylan Barnett replacing Browne and Webster. They did well until they got caught for the Rovers goal but overall this was a hard working display by Waterford and the point gained moved them to within three points of the leaders Cork City, who were held to a draw by Derry City.The Blues had an early chance when Sander Puri linked up with Gavan Holohan to cross. Rovers cleared the danger but only as far as the edge of the area but Bastien Hery couldn’t find the target.
Izzy Akinade was next to threaten the Rovers goal. The home side failed to clear and the ball fell to the striker but he couldn’t get enough behind the shot and Tomer Chencinski made an easy save.The Blues continued to dominate the opening stages and created the better chances; Puri and Akinade linked up well to set up Paul Keegan but he couldn’t find the target.The Blues opened the scoring with a deserved goal on 38 minutes.
Stanley Aborah held off two defenders and found Gavan Holohan whose swerving shot wrong-footed Rovers keeper Chencinski and flew into the back of the net for the half-time lead.Shamrock Rovers bossed the opening quarter of the second period with substitutes Brandon Miele and Dan Carr linking up but Blues keeper Vigouroux was more than equal to the effort.Stanley Aborah almost doubled the lead midway through the second half. Lee Grace fouled Bastien Hery on the edge of the area and Aborah’s curling free kick dropped a whisker wide of the post.Rovers continued to press however and were rewarded with the equaliser on 74 minutes. Dan Carr crossed to Graham Burke who headed home at the back post.Burke has been in great form recently and three days before this match he was called up to the Republic of Ireland squad by Martin O’Neill. Much as the home side tried for a winner, they couldn’t find a way through a resolute Waterford FC defence as the Blues held on for a hard-earned 1-1 draw.