Friday, 20th July 2018
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Treble dream dies for Blues

Waterford FC 3 - Bohemians 4

Having won the Southern League and the Under 17 Cup Waterford FC were hoping to complete the treble this season but their hopes and dreams died during a disastrous four minute spell between the 55th and 59th minutes. Leading two nil at the break a Thursday date with Cork City in the final in Turners Cross looked very much on the cards but they shot themselves in the foot by handing the Dubliners three goals during that crazy period and they just could not get back on a level keel afterwards. It was a sad end to their campaign but these young players have been a credit to the club all season and they can still hold their heads high.

It was Blues goalkeeper Charlie Heffernan that was called into action to make the first save on three minutes when David Okpailo got free down the right channel but his low right-footed shot from 14 yards was straight at the netminder. Jack Larkin had the first shot for the hosts on 16 minutes when Regix Madika’s left-wing cross was knocked into the path of the Blues skipper by Colm Whelan but his left-footed shot was deflected over the bar for a corner that Whelan headed wide.

Bohemians keeper Sean Bohan came to his sides rescue to make a super save to deny the home side the lead goal two minutes later when Darragh Power sent in a cross from the right that fell nicely for Madika but his shot was saved at the back post.

The Blues took the lead in brilliant fashion on 29 minutes when Mike Nzongong was brought to ground by defender Shay Curley and Darryl Walsh gave the Bohemians keeper Sean Bohan no chance with a magnificent left-footed effort from 25 yards.

Mike Nzongong did have a chance to extend his sides advantage five minutes later when Colm Whelan sent in a cross from the right but the striker needed to stretch for the ball that saw his close range effort go narrowly over.

Nzongong did double the Blues lead in the final minute of the half when a sweeping move saw Regix Madika charge clear down the left channel before crossing for Colm Whelan who put the ball on a plate for the former and he planted a left-footed shot past Sean Bohan from 16 yards.

The game totally turned on it’s head in favour of Bohemians in the space of four second half minutes as the Blues were left stone cold conceding three times. Sobe Nwaokolo started the comeback on 55 minutes when rifling a left-footed shot to the roof of the net from 12 yards after David Okpailo’s cross.

Bohemians were back on level terms two minutes later when Denis Smith played the ball down the left-wing that saw Lido Lotefa race clear and although the advancing Charlie Heffernan got his head to the lob from the striker, he couldn’t keep the ball from entering the net.

It was almost beyond belief to the home faithful that the Blues found themselves behind on 59 minutes when Lido Lotefa got free on the right side before cutting into the area with ease before firing a left-footed past Heffernan from an acute angle.

Blues captain Jack Larkin had a glorious chance to level the tie on 72 minutes when Colm Whelan did well down the right to set up the midfielder but he blazed wide of an open goal when he looked certain to equalise.

The home side fell further behind three minutes later when Lido Lotefa turned provider when he split the defence with a superb through ball for David Okpailo and he drilled a right-footed shot under the body of keeper Charlie Heffernan.

Waterford got themselves back into the contest on 80 minutes when Mike Nzongong picked up possession of the ball on the right side of the area before slotting a right-footed shot beyond the outstretched arm of Bohemians keeper Sean Bohan.

Colm Whelan went so close to equalising the game three minutes later when he reacted to a loose ball but his close range effort was hacked off the line for a corner kick that saw the ball eventually cleared as the Blues failed to find a goal to bring the tie to extra time.

WATERFORD FC: Charlie Heffernan, Kallum Broaders, Greg Waters (Lee Costello ’79), Adam Conway, Darryl Walsh, Dean Beresford, Jack Larkin (Torik Adegoke ’90), Darragh Power (Ciarán Brennan ’66), Mike Nzongong, Colm Whelan, Regix Madika (Jack O’Donnell ’79)

BOHEMIANS: Sean Bohan, Cian Trehy, Denis Smith, Shay Curley, Mitch Byrne, Alex Kelly, David Okpailo (Brad Hennessy ’87), Sean McManus (Jordan Maguire ’46), Lido Lotefa (Denis Robu ’90), Jack Moylan (Frankie Haba ’79), Sobe Nwaokolo (Liam McGrath ’84

Referee: Andrew Mullally assisted by Pat O’Connor and Chris Maher

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