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Waterford FC had to come from behind on Friday to pick up a 1-1 draw against an in-form Cabinteely side in the SSE Airtricity League First Division clash in Stradbrook.

The home side nearly broke the deadlock with just eight minutes on the clock when Patrick McClean fouled Jack Watson just outside the penalty area but Kieran Waters saw the resulting free kick come back off the crossbar.

The woodwork denied the home side the lead goal once again three minutes later when a misplaced clearance fell at the feet of Dean Casey but after his cracking left-footed 20-yard effort struck the bar, Watson headed the rebound wide.

Mark O’Sullivan had a great chance to put the Blues in front with the first attack on 18 minutes when the centre forward beat the offside trap to race onto a through ball from John Martin but he dragged a shot inches wide of the left-hand post.

Cabinteely got their noses in front just sixty seconds later when Jack Watson did well down the left before putting the ball on a plate for Kieran Waters and he beat keeper Matthew Connor with a left-footed finish from 10 yards.

A neat Blues buildup carved out a good chance on 22 minutes when Derek Daly and Shane O’Connor combined to set up John Martin inside the penalty area but his low right-footed shot from 16 yards was saved by keeper Mick Kelly.

The Blues were back on level terms five minutes before the sound of the half time when Conor Whittle’s delivery was knocked back to Garry Comerford, who put the ball on the head of Mark O’Sullivan and his looping header sailed over the head of Mick Kelly.

Matthew Connor produced a fantastic save to deny the hosts from going back in front on 53 minutes when Jack Watson let fly with a shot from 25 yards that was superbly kept out and the rebound from Ryan Swan was turned out for a fruitless corner kick.

With neither side able to take control of the second half, the Blues had a numerical advantage for the final 12 minutes when Cabinteely defender Kevin Knight picked up two yellow cards in as many minutes, the second for a late challenge on Dean Walsh.

Waterford FC had chance to win the game in the final ten minutes with Shane O’Connor heading a cross from Dean O’Halloran inches wide of the right-hand post before Dean Walsh did have a great chance four minutes from time but he was thwarted by a fine save from Mick Kelly.

Cabinteely: Mick Kelly, Karl Byrne, Rob McGee, Conor Keeley, Kevin Knight, Aaron Robinson (Christian Lotefa ’46), Jack Watson, Anthony Dolan, Ryan Swan (Cory Galvin ’88), Kieran Waters, Dean Casey (Joe Doyle ’83)

Waterford FC: Matthew Connor, Conor Whittle, Patrick McClean, Paddy Barrett, Sean Heaney, Paul Keegan, Garry Comerford, Shane O’Connor, John Martin (Aaron Drinan ’83), Mark O’Sullivan (Dean Walsh ’67), Derek Daly (Dean O’Halloran ’70)

Referee: Marc Lynch

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