Thursday, 20th September 2018
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Blues rock the champions in fiery Munster derby

Waterford FC came from behind to defeat the double champions Cork City at the RSC on Friday night last. An attendance of almost 4000 saw a dramatic match that produced many talking points both on and off the pitch.

Deep into stoppage time two Waterford players, Bastien Hery and Stanley Aborah plus Cork City players Stephen Beattie and Garry Buckley were sent off and the two managers, Alan Reynolds and John Caulfield were also sent packing by the referee Robert Rogers. The fact that John Caulfield, the City gaffer raced on to the pitch to try and get hold of the ball appeared to ignite the situation and when Bastien Hery pushed him all hell broke lose and the match officials found it difficult to control matters. It was a shame that the match had to finish like this because it overshadowed the fact that the Blues had leapfrogged the Leesiders on the league table and went joint top with Dundalk. An enquiry into the brawl will no doubt prove costly for both clubs and all we can do is wait and see how the affair will be dealt with.

Cork City got off to the perfect start with a goal inside two minutes. A needless free kick was awarded by referee Rogers that saw Barry McNamee’s delivery met by Aaron Barry at the back post before he set up Conor McCarthy to fire past Vigouroux.

Waterford created their first decent chance on 18 minutes when Dylan Barnett slipped the ball into the feet of Courtney Duffus, who was brought to ground on the edge of the area by Conor McCormack but Paul Keegan’s free kick went over Mark McNulty’s crossbar.

Izzy Akinade took a pass from Bastien Héry soon afterwards but his deflected effort was saved by the visiting keeper before City could have doubled their lead before the break when McCarthy fired in the cross for Kieran Sadlier but he failed to get his header on target.

There was one final chance for Courtney Duffus in the final minute of the half when the centre forward took possession of the ball on the right side of the area but his shot deflected wide of the target as the visitors went in with a deserving first half lead.

Just as City had hit Waterford early in the first half, the tables were reversed as the Blues levelled six after the break and it was City captain McCormack the unlucky player to score an own goal. Gavan Holohan fired in a low cross from the right and the ball struck McCormack and rolled beyond McNulty to level the tie.

It was Duffus that went close once again on the hour mark when the striker took a pass from Dylan Barnett on the right-side of the penalty area but he blazed a shot wide of McNulty’s near post before Cork were nearly gifted the lead goal soon afterwards.

The brilliant Bastien Héry left a back pass short that saw Barry McNamee raced clear on goal with only keeper Lawrence Vigouroux to beat but his effort from deep inside the penalty area went wide of the target as the Blues fans breathed a sign of relief. With the Blues pressing for the winning goal, it arrived with ten minutes remaining on the clock. Man of the match Stanley Aborah played the ball out to the right for Izzy Akinade and after his looping effort sailed over the head of McNulty Courtney Duffus was on hand to head home from close range. The RSC erupted when the ball entered the net but then unfortunately the stoppage time scenes followed .

WATERFORD FC: Lawrence Vigouroux; Garry Comerford, Kenny Browne, Dave Webster, Dylan Barnett; Paul Keegan, Bastien Héry, Stanley Aborah (Sander Puri `90), Gavan Holohan; Izzy Akinade (Rory Feely `85), Courtney Duffus

CORK CITY: Mark McNulty, Conor McCarthy, Aaron Barry, Sean McLoughlin, Shane Griffin; Conor McCormack (Jimmy Keohane `70), Gearoid Morrissey (Josh O’Hanlon `83); Barry McNamee, Garry Buckley, Kieran Sadlier; Graham Cummins (Karl Sheppard 73)

Referee: Robert Rogers (Dublin)

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