Villa 3 Waterford Crystal 2
Paul Elliott Reports
Villa kept their hopes of winning the Waterford Premier League alive as they took all three points from this five goal thriller against Waterford Crystal at Connors Park on Saturday night last. Conor Signorelli came up with the winner five minutes into injury time. Crystal looked as if they had claimed a point as they came from two goals downbut Villa scored the winner with the last kick of the game.Villa were the better side in the first half and could have gone in front on six minutes when Aaron O’Connor sent over a corner kick to Conor Mullane who headed over the crossbar from six yards. Villa striker Jeff Di Silva, who had a cracking game, had a chance on 21 minutes when he stepped inside Crystal defender Eoghan Rea but Derek Hearne was well placed in the
Crystal goal to make a comfortable save.
A minute Aaron O’Connor got behind the Crystal defence but his left wing cross to the far post was just missed Sean O’Keeffe. Villa took a deserved lead on 25 minutes. A corner kick by O’Connor caused confusion in the Crystal penalty and when the ball broke to the edge of the penalty area Conor Mullane was first to react and he beat Derek Hearne with a powerful shot that found the far corner of the net. Villa doubled their lead two minutes later. Aaron O’Connor sent a corner kick to the far post to Adam Heaslip and he made no mistake heading home from six yards. Waterford Crystal got back into the game on 38 minutes. Shane Rochford picked up the ball 30 yards from the Villa goal and fired in a shot that took a wicked deflection off Conor Kilgannon and flew past the helpless Hubert Mullally. The game took a dramatic turn as the second half got under way as Crystal pushed more men forward into the attack and began to ask some questions of the Villa defence.
They came close to equalising on 50 minutes when Shane Rochford sent in a left-wing
cross to Aidan Tracey but the winger’s effort was inches wide of the near post.
Crystal went close again on 59 minutes. Nathan Phelan’s cross from a Michael Hearne long ball found Johnny Gleeson but his effort flew wide of the far post. Shane Rochford set up the equaliser for Crystal on 69 minutes when he whipped in a free kick to Andrew Power who stole in at the far post and sent a flick header into the far corner of the net.Crystal winger Aidan Tracey cut in from the right-side of the penalty area on 78 minutes, but his shot was wide of the far post. Two minutes Tracey drove in a dangerous free kick to the back post but Eoghan Rea headed inches wide of the target. The winner arrived in the fifth added minute. Conor Coad was brought down on the edge of the penalty area, Jeff Di Silva saw his stunning free kick come crashing back off the post but Conor Signorelli was on hand to bundle the ball to the net from close-range to give Villa a vital three points that keeps them in the title race.