League Report: Kerry 0 - 6 Waterford
Patrick O’ Connor reports from Mounthawk Park
Waterford recorded a facile 6-0 win over Kerry at Mounthawk Park on Monday afternoon to conclude a productive weekend following a 7-0 win over Treaty United on Friday.
They scored 13 goals, conceded none and had a spread of nine different scorers across the two games, with the six points accumulated keeping them on the coat tails of league leaders Galway United.
The game in Mounthawk had a very definite men v boys feel about it and in defence of Billy Dennehy’s side, they started the game with five 18-year-olds about to do their Leaving Certificate on Wednesday, had their most experienced player Matt Keane suspended and were forced to start with their third-choice goalkeeper.
It was always going to be an uphill battle against the full-time professionals, but Kerry managed to start well and contained Keith Long’s side for long spells of the first half.
Rookie goalkeeper Aaron O’Sullivan coped well with the few half chances that Waterford did create.
Ronan Teehan was also a tigerish presence in midfield while ex Cork City player Sean McGrath was their most creative player up front.
The dam burst for Kerry however in the 35th minute and it came from an unforced error from the unfortunate O’ Sullivan.
He came out to clear a long ball over the top but fly kicked it into the path of the grateful Roland Idowu who just had to then roll the ball into an empty net.
A 1-0 deficit at half time would have been just rewards for their hard work but they conceded a second in the 45th minute.
Waterford again benefitted from another long ball over the top of the high line Kerry back four.
Connor Parsons controlled this long ball well and passed to the better positioned Ronan Coughlan who slid the ball past O’Sullivan.
There was no respite for Kerry after the break and within ten minutes of the restart Chris Conn Clarke set up Coughlan for his second of the day.
Waterford were in cruise control at this stage and Coughlan netted his third hat trick of the season when he finished off a fine pass from Barry Baggley in the 67th minute.
Waterford substitute Thomas Oluwa was a thorn in Kerry’s side when introduced in the 60th minute and he drew a penalty from Robert Vasiu in the 88th minute.
Coughlan took the spot kick and scored his fourth of the game and his second four goal haul this season.
Kerry’s misery was completed two minutes later when Coughlan turned provider, back heeling a pass to Baggley who had plenty of time to stroke the ball past O’ Sullivan for the sixth and final goal.
This was a chastening experience for the young Kerry team and the defeat leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table on six points, 12 points adrift of Finn Harps and Longford Town on 18 points.
Keith Long’s side did what they had to do and they certainly seem to have the squad depth to continue to challenge Galway for automatic promotion back to the Premier Division.
Kerry: Aaron O’Sullivan; Nathan Gleeson, Graham O’Reilly (Togor Silong 72), Kevin Williams, Samuel Aladesanusi, Robert Vasiu; Sean McGrath, Cian Barrett (Sean O Connell 72), Ronan Teahan, Leo Gaxha; Ryan Kelliher ) Kennedy Amechi 60) Sean O’Connell for Barrett (72)
Subs not used: Callan Scully, Alex Ainscough, Cianan Cooney,Stephen McCarthy
Booked: Leo Gaxha (11), Kevin Williams (15), Chris Hegarty (Coach, 36) Nathan Gleeson (47), Togor Silong (90).
Waterford: Paul Martin; Tunmise Sobowale, Killian Cantwell (Eddie Nolan 70) Giles Phillips, Ryan Burke (Ronan Mansfield 76); Connor Parsons (Dean Larkin 70), Barry Baggley, Shane Griffin (Niall O’Keeffe 60), Christopher Conn Clarke (Thomas Oluwa 60), Roland Idowu; Ronan Coughlan.
Subs not used: Darragh Power, Matt Connor, Romeo Akachukwu, Thomas Donaghy
Booked: Brian Murphy (Coach, 36) Ronan Mansfield (84)
Referee: Declan Toland
Extratime.com Player of the Match: Ronan Coughlan (Waterford)