League Report: Waterford FC 1-0 Kerry FC


Ronan Coughlan scored the winner as Waterford beat Kerry at the RSC Credit: Gerry Shanahan (ETPhotos)

Waterford secured their third win in as many games at the RSC on Friday night in a hard-earned 1-0 win over newcomers Kerry.

Ronan Coughlan grabbed the only goal of the night with 20 minutes left on the clock to claim his fifth goal in four games. 


Newly appointed Blues manager Keith Long will be content with the result after a rather frustrating first-half from his team on the night. Long kept faith with the same starting XI that bagged a 3-1 win against Cobh Ramblers in the Munster derby last week at St Coleman’s Park.

Billy Dennehy made just one change to his Kerry side that drew 1-1 with Finn Harps at Mounthawk Park last weekend - Sean O’Connell stepping into the fold in place of Sean Kennedy.  Dennehy was the happier of the two managers going into the break as his team managed to hold out and not concede in the first 45 against a side 12 points ahead of them in the table. 

The Blues created several chances and Wayne Guthrie was kept busy in the Kerry goal with numerous crucial saves throughout the half. Giles Phillips had the first real attempt on the ten-minute-mark when he headed in a corner ball from Shane Griffin, but Guthrie showed his experience by being sharp on his line, saving the shot with ease.

In-form Roland Idowu was visibly energetic, with several attempts to play the ball into his team-mates from the wing, but Kerry defended well and clearly did their homework before the game, closing him down at every opportunity. 

The back line of Kerry did a fantastic job throughout the half, especially Jonathan Hannafin and Samuel Aladesanusi – the latter clearing a dangerous Dean McMenamy long-range shot in the dying minutes.

Cian Barrett must also be credited for his distinctive creative play in midfield, despite not having much possession to work with. Waterford pressed and pressed, and the crowd went from being silent to agitated quite quickly in the second-half. 

Keith Long would’ve asked for patience and perseverance from his team in the dressing room at half-time, and eventually it paid off. Both Connor Parsons and Chris Conn-Clarke came onto the field on the hour mark, and both made a difference to the flow of the game. 

It was Coughlan who broke the deadlock on the 70-minute-mark after getting his head to a Barry Baggley corner kick. Baggley swung in what was Waterford’s 12th corner of the night to meet his team-mate on the far post and despite a gutsy performance from both goalkeeper and defence throughout the game, The Kingdom could not deny the power of the Blues on this occasion.

There were still plenty of chances to be had in the final ten minutes. Substitute Wassim Aouachria had at least three. The powerful forward created a lot of space for himself and had plenty of time on the ball but mixed up his feet and pipped a couple of low shots just past the post.

Relief rang around the RSC as the full-time whistle blew after the game turned out to be a trickier task than expected. 

The Blues are now ten points behind a dominant Galway who put six past Bray in tonight’s clash at Eamonn Deacy Park, as Kerry remain at the bottom with two points from nine games. 

Waterford will welcome fifth place Athlone Town to the RSC next Friday as they hope to continue their good run of form under manager Long, with Kerry hosting Galway in a difficult fixture at Mounthawk Park. 


Waterford: Paul Martin; Ryan Burke, Killian Cantwell, Dean McMenamy (Wassim Aouachria 68), Giles Phillips; Barry Baggley, Shane Griffin (Connor Parsons 59), Roland Idowu (Chris Conn-Clarke 59), Niall O'Keeffe, Tunmise Sobowale (Darragh Power 68); Ronan Coughlan (Dean Larkin 90).

Subs not used: Tom Donaghy, Harvey Warren, Eddie Nolan, Thomas Oluwa.

Booked: Ronan Coughlan (72).

Sent off: None.


Kerry FC: Wayne Guthrie; Samuel Aladesanusi, Jonathan Hannafin (Trpimir Vrljicak 80), Rob Vasiu, Kevin Williams; Cian Barrett, Leo Gaxha, Sean O'Connell, Ronan Teahan; Ryan Kelliher (Cian Brosnan 78), Sean McGrath (Sean Kennedy 68).

Subs not used: Callan Scully, Cormac Buckley, Shane Guthrie, Alex Ainscough, Matt Keane, Kennedy Amechi.

Booked: Billy Dennehy (manager) (53).

Sent off: None.


Referee: Chris Sheehan

Attendance: 2192

extratime.com Player of the Match: Wayne Guthrie (Kerry FC)