Saturday, 22nd September 2018
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Off colour Blues make tame exit from cup

After winning cup games away to Skerries Town and Drogheda United, Waterford FC were hoping to make it three wins on the bounce when they travelled to the Belfield Bowl on Friday last but unfortunately they turned in their worst performance of the season against a fast and extremely talented UCD side. The students were by far the best team on the night and the Blues can have no complaints about the outcome. All attention now returns to the league campaign and the quest for European football starting with a visit from Bray Wanderers this Friday. This will be the first home game for seven weeks for the local outfit.

After a cagey opening to the cup tie, it was the Blues that fell a goal behind on 20 minutes when Greg Sloggett got the better of Bastien Héry on the right side of the area before playing the ball in for Conor Davis and he toe poked the ball past Niall Corbet from deep inside the penalty area With the Blues rattled by this goal, they were soon to concede a second goal six minutes later. Gary O’Neill’s effort from distance took a deflection that saw Jay McClelland’s delivery from the right not cleared by the visitors and it was Timmy Molloy that beat Corbet with a cracking drive from just outside the penalty area. Waterford made a change on 37 minutes with Courtney Duffus coming on in place of Izzy Akinade as the Blues reshuffled the deck. It yielded their first chance on 41 minutes when Gavan Holohan latched onto the ball 22 yards from goal, but he failed to trouble UCD keeper Conor Kearns as the ball went high over the bar.

The Blues made their second change of the game at the break with Stanley Aborah replacing Dessie Hutchinson and he showed his capabilities inside the opening minutes of the half, but still the Premier League side didn’t make UCD keeper Kearns work. It was the Students that could have grabbed their third goal only for a brilliant Niall Corbet on 57 minutes. Jay McClelland started the move when he sent in a cross from the left that was laid off by Conor Davis into the path of Timmy Molloy, but his cracking effort from 16 yards was superbly tipped over the bar. Dean O’Halloran won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area two minutes later when he was brought to ground by Daniel Tobin, but Stanley Aborah’s free kick deflected off the UCD wall before it was cleared for a corner kick at came to nothing.

The Blues were awarded a penalty and a lifeline back into the game on 78 minutes when Gary O’Neill upended Rory Feely inside the area that saw referee John McLoughlin point to the spot. Up stepped Stanley Aborah and he beat keeper Conor Kearns to give hope to the travelling faithful. That was as good as it got however and the cup dream died for at least another 12 months.


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