Monday, 20th August 2018
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Rovers close the gap on Blues

A huge crowd turned up at the RSC on Sunday to watch old rivals Waterford and Shamrock Rovers but unfortunately the majority of them went home disappointed because it was the visitors who bagged the three points. Waterford went into the game seven points clear of the Hoops and they knew a win would cement their third placed standing on the league table, a position which would guarantee European football next season. This outcome has seen Rovers close the gap to just four points and Alan Reynolds and his players will want to put this defeat behind them and get back to winning ways against Limerick in the Markets Field on Friday next. Considering that the visitors had to play extra-time in Sweden the previous Thursday this was an excellent display by them.

Roberto Lopes, who came into the Rovers starting line-up in place of Joey O'Brien, should have put the visitors in front on three minutes. Ronan Finn whipped in a free kick from the right that fell to the defender that the back post, but he hooked the ball wide of a gapping goal from six yards.

The hosts were denied a penalty on 21 minutes when striker Courtney Duffus picked possession of the ball on the left side of the area before he was clearly brought to ground by Rovers defender Roberto Lopes, but referee Robert Harvey awarded a goal kick.

It was Waterford keeper Matt Connor that showed his class with two outstanding saves in split seconds of each other to keep the tie level on 33 minutes. He stood tall to keep out a cracking effort from Dylan Watts before brilliantly tipping a piledriver from Ronan Finn over the bar.

Courtney Duffus had the final chance of the half when he reacted at the back post to a Stanley Aborah delivery in the box, but Alan Mannus saved before the half time whistle sounded to boos at referee Harvey for his non-award of that 21st minute spot kick.

Rory Feely had the first chance of the second half just after the hour mark when he rose highest to meet a Paul Keegan left-wing corner kick, but the defender headed over the bar from deep inside the penalty area.

Bastien H

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