Monday, 23rd July 2018
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Waterford cement third position with a point

Waterford FC are seven points clear of both Shamrock Rovers and Derry City following this hard earned point in the Carlisle Grounds on Friday night and remain on course for European football next season. This was the second time within a few weeks that the two teams cancelled out each other at the same venue. It was a game the Blues were expected to win but with Martin Russell in charge the Seagulls are now a well organised outfit and the point gained could prove very valuable come the end of the season.The mid-season break is now in place and Waterford's next game will be away to Sligo Rovers on Saturday, June 30th. Up to four new players are expected to come in to bolster the squad during the coming two weeks and they will be available to play against Bohemians in Friday July 6th at the RSC when the transfer window opens.

After the Blues forced three early corners that were easily dealt with, it was the home side that carved out the first chance on 13 minutes. Ronan Coughlan knocked the ball down into the feet of Craig Walsh but he failed to trouble Matt Connor as his shot from 18 yards went over the bar.

Blues keeper Matt Connor produced a top class save to deny the Seagulls the lead goal five minutes later when Kevin Lynch picked out former Blues player Cory Galvin with a throw from the left but his well-struck shot from 20 yards was tipped out for a near post corner kick.

The Blues had their first glimpse at goal on 35 minutes when Courtney Duffus put Bray keeper Evan Moran under pressure when he played the ball straight to Izzy Akinade and after he found the striker with the resulting cross, his effort was blocked out by defender Rhys Gorman.

Bray missed a glorious chance to open the scoring two minutes before the break when Dan McKenna played the ball in for Craig Walsh, who took the ball around an out of the position Matt Connor but he lost his bearings in front of goal that allowed the Blues netminder to recover the situation.

It was Connor that showed his class to keep a lacklustre Blues on level terms on 49 minutes when the dangerous Craig Walsh caused panic inside the Waterford penalty area but the keeper stood tall to turn the ball away for a corner kick.

Courtney Duffus did well down the left channel five minutes later when he got on the end of a long ball from Derek Daly before cutting into the penalty area but his angled effort was blocked away by Bray keeper Evan Moran before it was hooked clear by Sean Heaney.

Izzy Akinade raced onto a through ball from John Martin down the right-wing on 57 minutes but under pressure from defender Heaney, he blazed a right-footed shot from 14 yards over the crossbar of keeper Moran as the Blues tried to get a foothold into the tie.

Dan McKenna saw a curling effort that had Matt Connor stranded go wide of the right-hand post on 70 minutes before Derek Daly got free down the left channel five minutes that saw his cross picked out Dean O'Halloran at the back post however he failed to gain control of the ball from close-range.

As time ticked down into the final minutes, Derek Daly went down in the area under a challenge from Bray defender Sean Harding, but referee Robert Hennessy waved the defender to his feet before Daniel Kelly could have won it for Bray in injury time however his effort flashed wide of the left-hand post.

The Blues go into the midseason break seven points clear of both Shamrock Rovers and Derry City with 13 games to go in the league campaign and it will be an interesting couple of weeks ahead as manager Alan Reynolds looks to add players to his squad.

BRAY WANDERERS: Evan Moran, Sean Harding, Rhys Gorman, Sean Heaney, Kevin Lynch, Dan McKenna, Paul O'Conor, Craig Walsh, Daniel Kelly, Cory Galvin (Jake Kelly `90), Ronan Coughlan

WATERFORD FC: Matt Connor, Dylan Barnett, Kenny Browne, Rory Feely, Derek Daly, Bastien HEvan Moran, Sean Harding, Rhys Gorman, Sean Heaney, Kevin Lynch, Dan McKenna, Paul O'Conor, Craig Walsh, Daniel Kelly, Cory Galvin (Jake Kelly `90), Ronan Coughlan WATERFORD FC: Matt Connor, Dylan Barnett, Kenny Browne, Rory Feely, Derek Daly, Bastien Héry, Gavan Holohan (Dean O'Halloran `41), Sander Puri, John Martin (Dean Walsh `80), Izzy Akinade, Courtney Duffus

Referee: Robert Hennessy (Clare) Assistants. Dermot Broughton and Michelle O'Neill.

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