League of Ireland Premier Division
St Patrick’s Athletic 0
Waterford FC 1
Waterford FC began the new season in style on Friday night last when they dug deep to deny St Patrick’s Athletic at Inchicore. The Blues, who beat the Saints twice at Richmond Park last year, fielded eight players making their debut and with veteran keeper Brian Murphy in scintillating form. they withstood a spirited second half fight-back from the home side to take all three points on offer following a 1-0 win.
St Pat’s paraded six new signings while Brian Murphy, Tyreke Wilson, Scott Allardice, Ali Coote, Matty Smith, Robbie McCourt, Akinwale Odimayo and Andre Burley were the eight players lining out for the Blues for the first time. Referee Séan Grant wasn’t slow to dish out yellow cards and before seven minutes had elapsed Waterford’s Scott Allardice and Saints’ Jamie Lennon were on the receiving end as they found their way into the referee’s book.
The Blues had the first real chance on 15 minutes when Michael O’Connor got on the end of a Kevin O’Connor cross, but the Blues attacker looped his header over the bar.
St Pat’s created a chance of their own 10 minutes later when Robbie Benson drilled a pass to Jay McClelland, but his powerful shot was scrambled clear by the Blues’ defence.
The home side came more into the game and had another good chance to open the scoring after 30 minutes, but Dean Clarke was just off target with a shot from all of forty yards.
Martin Rennie had another chance for the Saints but his shot was straight at Brian Murphy.
Waterford opened the scoring four minutes into the second half after a mistake in the St Pat’s defence. Blues’ striker Matt Smith capitalised on an under-hit Robbie Benson back pass and pulled the ball back into the path of Kevin O’Connor who had the simple task of firing into an empty net.
St Pat’s almost hit back immediately but Brian Murphy made a good save from a Dean Clarke effort. St Pat’s were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when Andre Burley appeared to foul Rory Feely in the box. The Pat’s defender received a yellow card for his protests and then brought a brilliant save out of Brian Murphy with a header after getting on the end of a Billy King corner.
St Pat’s mounted attack after attack as they tried to get something from the game and they came close to an equaliser on 65 minutes but Ian Bermingham just missed with a header.
11 minutes later Tyreke Wilson cleared a header off the line from Pat’s substitute Ronan Hale and on 83 minutes Brian Murphy capped a brilliant performance for the Blues and kept the home side at bay when he produced another super save to deny Chris Forrester.
Waterford FC unveil their new kit displaying their support for 24/7 cardiac care tomorrow (Wednesday) and face Bohemians, who lost at home to Shamrock Rovers on Saturday, in their first home match of the season at the RSC on Friday.