League Report: Waterford 3 -1 Bray Wanderers
Patrick O’ Connor reports from the RSC
Waterford’s quick fire goals at the start of each half were the difference between these two sides when they met at the RSC on Friday night. The 3-1 win enabled the Blues to claim all three points and remain in second spot on the First Division league table.
Waterford have been scoring for fun lately, they have 16 goals from three games in one week, bring their season total to 54 goals.
They are now the leading goal scorers in the country, edging First Division rivals Galway United who are on 53 goals and surpassing Premier Division leaders Shamrock Rovers by ten goals.
In this game Bray Wanderers for their part did play very creative and constructive football. They had one of the game’s best individual performers in mobile striker Ben Feeney but they lacked the killer instinct in front of goal, something the Blues have in abundance.
The home side got off to the best possible start taking the lead goal in the first minute of the game.
They went on the attack from their kick off and when the ball was fed to Dean McMenamy at the edge of the box, he had time to fire the ball into the bottom left-hand corner past Stephen McGuinness.
They continued to dominate the game and created more chances in the 20 minutes that followed but Wanderers defended well and kept themselves in the game.
The Blues then became somewhat lethargic in their approach and they allowed the opposition to build some momentum though their creative play around the middle third.
Conor Crowley, Luca Lovic and Darren Craven began to dominate in midfield and they had a very willing runner in young Feeney up front.
It came as no great surprise when Bray did manage an equaliser in the 38th minute and Feeney was instrumental in getting them back on level terms.
He was involved early on in a flowing six man passing move and when the ball was worked to their right wing, he drifted to the far post and scored a great goal with a downward header from a cross by Max Murphy.
The score was 1-1 at the break, a fair reflection of the opening 45 minutes, but Waterford took over in the second period and repeated the dose of the first half with a lighting quick goal after 36 seconds.
Conor Parsons got through on the right wing in their first attack and when he squared the ball to Ronan Coughlan, the ace marksman scored with his first touch.
Coughlan put the issue beyond doubt in the 65th minute when he availed of hesitation in the Bray defence to go through one on one with McGuinness and cooly slot home, his second of the game and his 25th of the season.
Waterford saw out the last quarter of the game comfortably and now go into the international break in fine fettle. Bray Wanderers remain on 25 points and in fifth place and will have a lot of hard work to do to remain in the promotion play off race in the second half of the season.
WATERFORD: Paul Martin; Nall O Keeffe, Killian Cantwell, Giles Phillips, Ryan Burke, Connor Parsons (Chris Conn Clarke 63), Barry Baggley, Shane Griffin (Tunmise Sobowale 63), Dean McMenamy (Thomas Oluwa 23), Roland Idowu (Dean Larkin 83), Ronan Coughlan.
Subs Not Used: Darragh Power, Matt Connor, Thomas Donaghy, Ronan Mansfield, Eddie Nolan
BRAY WANDERERS: Stephen McGuinness; Max Murphy, Cole Omorehiomwan (Jack Hudson 80) Len O’Sullivan Dave Webster, Harry Groome (Joe Power 65), Luca Lovic, Conor Crowley, Darren Craven ( Callum Thompson 70), Ben Feeney, Chris Lyons ( Jake Walker 80).
Subs Not Used: Conor Davis, Conor Knight, Zach Donohue, Stephen McGuinness, Lorcan Fitzgerald.
Booked: Dave Webster (20), Cole Omorehiomwan (45)
Referee: Gavin Colfer
Extratime.com Player of the Match: Ben Feeney (Bray Wanderers)