Deniese O'Flaherty reports from Bishopsgate
Goals from John Martin and Eric Molloy helped Waterford claim a big win over Longford Town in the battle to avoid the drop to the First Division.
In what was a dismal night for Longford Town they finished the game with 10 men after defender Mick McDonnell was sent off in the 84th minute for kicking out at the excellent Adam O’Reilly.
The win sees Waterford move four points clear of bottom side Longford Town. It was a fine performance from Waterford who bounced back from their heavy defeat to Shamrock Rovers on Friday evening.
Town came into the game buoyed by their performance and result away to Dundalk on Friday night but their inability to put back to back solid performances together has cost them this season.
The win is Waterford’s fourth this season while Town’s winless run was extended to 16; they haven’t won a game since their opening game of the season.
Some of the play throughout was terrible and it was evident why both sides are occupying the bottom two positions in the table.
It was Waterford who started the game better and they opened the scoring in the 17th minute; good play involving Eric Molloy and Adam O’Reilly ended with John Martin powerfully heading the ball home.
The lead didn’t last long. A wayward pass from Darragh Power in the 18th minute was picked up by Aaron McNally, he raced through, getting past Waterford players before shooting low to the net. It was his second goal in two games.
One minute later and McNally very nearly got his and Town’s second; Dylan Grimes played the ball to him and he hit a stunning effort from about 30 yards out that just went over the crossbar.
McNally caused problems for Waterford in the first half. Both sides enjoyed possession but couldn’t muster up anything in the way of troubling either keeper. In the 40th minute Eric Molloy’s cross from the right met the head of Kyle Ferguson but he directed the ball straight at Lee Steacy.
Three minutes after the interval Waterford regained the lead. Aaron McNally was harshly adjudged to have handled the ball and a free was awarded. The Town players switched off and Jamie Mascoll whipped in the free from the left, the ball fell nicely to Molloy at the far side and he made no mistake.
Town huffed and puffed as they tried to get back into the game but as the clock ticked down it looked increasingly like Waterford would hold on for the win. Town were dealt a huge blow in the 84th minute when defender Mick McDonnell was shown a straight red card for kicking out at Adam O’Reilly as the two clashed on the sideline after Town were awarded a throw.
In the final minutes Waterford were happy to sit back while Town offered very little and the visitors left Bishopsgate with a huge win.
Subs not used: Michael Kelly, Shane Elworthy, Conor Davis, Joseph Manley, Matthew O'Brien, Aaron Robinson, Callum Thompson.
Booked: Karl Chambers (84).
Sent off: Michael McDonnell (84).
Waterford: Brian Murphy; Kyle Ferguson, Jamie Mascoll, Darragh Power, Jack Stafford; Shane Griffin, John Martin, Eric Molloy, Niall O'Keeffe, Adam O'Reilly; Prince Mutswunguma (Cian Kavanagh 89).
Subs not used: Cian Browne, Kyle Cooke, Cameron Evans, Liam Kervick, Katlego Mashigo, Tunmise Sobowale, Callum Stringer.
Booked: Jamie Mascoll (76) John Martin (90).
Sent off: None
Referee: Ray Matthews
extratime.com Player of the Match: Adam O'Reilly (Waterford).