League Report: Waterford 3 - 1 St Patrick's Athletic

Waterford celebrate scoring against St Pats

Waterford celebrate scoring against St Pats Credit: Hugh de Paor (ETPhotos)

Padraig Amond’s first-half brace and a stunner from Maleace Asamoah earned Waterford a return to winning ways as the Blues defeated a lacklustre St Patrick’s Athletic at the Regional Sports Centre.

Bouncing back from last Friday’s loss at Galway United, Waterford led early on through in-form Padraig Amond’s soaring header. Despite largely nullifying Pats’, the Inchicore-based men levelled through Anto Breslin’s close-range finish.

Amond’s second replenished the hosts’ lead after the forward profited from a spilt cross by away keeper, Marcelo Pitaluga. Asamoah, on loan from Fleetwood Town, added an amazing third, after the interval, finishing off a fine individual run with a scorching strike.

In front of a sold-out RSC crowd, the visitors forced Waterford goalkeeper, Sam Sargeant, into the first meaningful save inside three minutes. Brandon Kavanagh drove past halfway, coolly finding Ruari Keating’s run up front, and the forward saw Sargeant get down low to shovel his shot behind.

Waterford were quick to threaten themselves as Asamoah jinked into the right-hand side of the area, blasting an effort which Pitaluga alertly tipped over.

The Blues were rewarded for their bright start in the seventh minute. Waterford captain, Barry Baggley, played a short corner from the right, gaining an inch of space to cross. His devious delivery was met by Waterford’s in-form man, striker Amond, bizarrely left unmarked inside the box, thumping a fantastic header into the top right corner, beyond Pitaluga.

Salt was rubbed into St Pats’ wounds by the loss of defender, Ryan McLaughlin, brought into the starting side from Friday’s 2-1 loss at Derry City, to injury, with Kieran Freeman coming off the bench after only ten minutes.

Home full-back, Darragh Power, whizzed a long-range effort over. Following their injury-enforced switch, Pats’ were struggling to gel cohesively.

Somewhat dominating, Keith Long’s men almost went two up on the half hour. The lively Asamoah wriggled away on the left wing, cutting the ball back to Ryan Burke. His left-footed, swirling cross was met by Amond’s instinctive snapshot which Pitaluga parried away from danger.

Next, Jamie Lennon’s pass back to Pitaluga put the Pats’ goalkeeper under pressure from Amond’s fierce press but luckily for the Liverpool loanee, the ball bounced wide left off of Amond.

And that near miss quickly haunted the hosts as St Pat’s levelled in the thirty-fourth minute. Kavanagh cut in from the right, evading blue-shirted bodies, before shuffling the ball centrally into the six-yard box. With Keating occupying the home defence, up popped Anto Breslin to poke home the Saints’ equaliser, rather against the run of play.

Waterford wrested the momentum straight back their way, Amond immediately powering a header just wide.

The newly promoted team deservedly retook the lead before half-time as Burke’s high delivery from out left was spilt by a jittery Pitaluga, pressured by Power six yards out. Pitaluga dropped the ball, allowing Amond the gift of tapping home his second strike of the evening, Waterford’s lead restored.

In the second half, Connor Parsons lashed a volley which was well blocked by Pats’ captain, Joe Redmond, to keep his side within one goal.

Parsons almost teed up Asamoah with a curling cross, the move curtailed by an offside flag against the latter.

Grant Horton’s defensive leadership combined with Sargeant’s decisive goalkeeping ensured Waterford weathered a spell of second half Pats’ pressure.

Twenty minutes from time, Asamoah sealed the points with a stunning surge on the left wing. Dispossessing Freeman on halfway, Asamoah danced through scattering red and white shirts, seeing off Breslin’s challenge before getting into the box. Once there, he smashed a superb left-footer into the back of the net to the RSC’s delight!

Foot to throttle, Amond almost had his hat-trick after a cute Parsons pass played him in. Pitaluga, on this occasion, stood tall, saving well. Pats’ pushed, substitute Kian Leavy, lashing goalwards but Horton made a fine recovery block.

Redmond went close aerially, and Lennon was denied by a stunning Sargeant stop in injury time. Waterford, though, were ultimately comfortable in seeing out their second, stylishly secured, win of the season. A fine start to Premier Division life for Keith Long’s squad.

It’s a swift turnaround for both clubs with Waterford on the road on Friday, at the Brandywell, to face Derry City. St Pats’, now needing to end a three-game losing streak, return to Richmond Park, hosting Dundalk, also in four days’ time.

Waterford:  Sam Sargeant; Darragh Leahy, Ryan Burke, Grant Horton, Darragh Power, Kacper Radkowski, Rowan McDonald, Barry Baggley ©, Maleace Asamoah (Harvey Macadam 78), Connor Parsons, Padraig Amond.   

Subs not used: Matthew Connor (gk), Romeo Akachukwu, Gbemi Arubi, Joseph Forde, Ben McCormack, Robert McCourt, Dean McMenamy, Niall O’Keefe.

Booked: Padraig Amond (56), Rowan McDonald (77), Darragh Power (81).

St Patrick’s Athletic: Marcelo Pitaluga; Joe Redmond ©, Anto Breslin, Ryan McLuaghlin (Kieran Freeman 10) (Alex Nolan 84), Conor Keeley (Kian Leavy 63), Luke Turner, Chris Forrester, (Cian Kavanagh 84) Brandon Kavanagh (Mason Melia 63), Jason McClelland, Jamie Lennon, Ruari Keating. 

Subs not used: Daniel Rogers (gk), Aaron Bolger, Arran Pettifer, Carl Sjoberg. 

Booked: Jamie Lennon (56),

Referee: Kevin O’Sullivan.

Attendance: 3,076.

extratime.com Player of the Match: Maleace Asamoah.