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The Blues fell to defeat on Friday evening, as Derry City secured all thee points with a 2-0 win against Keith Long’s side at the RSC in their SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division clash.

Goals from a Will Patching penalty and a Pat Hoban close-range finish gave the Candystripes a first away win of the 2024 season in their 600th away league fixture since their inception. 

Keith Long named an unchanged side for the clash against the Candystripes from the 1-1 draw away to St. Patrick’s Athletic in Richmond Park the week previous, as Padraig Amond once again led the line for the Blues with Connor Parsons & Maleace Asamoah playing off him on either side.

In a quiet opening to the contest, the first chance of the game fell to the visitors after 21 minutes when Paul McMullan flicked the ball into the path of Danny Mullan, but he failed to trouble keeper Sam Sargeant as his effort flew over the crossbar. 

Will Patching carved out a chance for himself on the half-hour mark when McMullan sent over a right-wing cross that was cleared to the top of the area for the midfielder, but his shot just cleared Sargeant’s crossbar. 

It was the visitors that continued to press for the lead goal with another dangerous ball from Paul McMullan this time from the left looking for Pat Hoban on 34 minutes, but his delivery was superbly blocked away by Darragh Leahy.

With Daniel Kelly coming in place of the injured Ben Doherty on 35 minutes, he had an immediate impact as he won a 37th minute penalty.  Danny Mullan slipped the ball in for the substitute on the right-side, and after he was brought down by defender Robbie McCourt, and Will Patching fired past Sam Sargeant. 

Waterford’s lone effort of the first-half arrived a minute after the breakthrough goal when Connor Parsons took a pass from McCourt on the left-side of the area, but his right-footed effort was deflected out for a fruitless corner-kick. 

Derry should have doubled the lead three minutes into the second-half when the impressive Paul McMullan linked up with Ciaran Coll down the left before putting a cross on the head of Pat Hoban only for the attacker to header over from close-range. 

Rowan McDonald went close to levelling the contest in a rare Waterford moment on 67 minutes when Ben McCormack’s left-wing delivery was cleared into the path of the midfielder, who let-fly from 25 yards, but his shot just cleared Brian Maher’s goal. 

The visitors extended their lead thanks to some poor defending from the hosts. Skipper Darragh Leahy got caught in possession that saw Adam O’Reilly race clear down the right before he set up Daniel Kelly, and after his shot wasn’t handled by Sam Sargeant with Pat Hoban on hand to blast the loose ball home.

Waterford had a chance to get themselves back into the game with 81 minutes on the clock when Connor Parsons turned provider for Padraig Amond on the right-side of the area, but his effort from ten yards came crashing back off the underside of the crossbar with Brian Maher beaten. 

Grant Horton did have the ball in the back of the Derry City net four minutes later after Connor Evans had a shot saved by Maher, but the whistle of referee Alan Patchell had already sounded for a foul on defender Mark Connolly as the visitors secured their win.

Waterford FC: Sargeant; Power, Leahy, Horton, McCourt (76′ Radkowski); McDonald, McCormack (76′ Pattisson), Macadam (90′ McMenamy); Asamoah (63′ Evans), Amond, Parsons.

Derry City: Maher; Boyce, Connolly, McJannet, Coll; Doherty (35′ Kelly), O’Reilly, Patching, McMullan (90′ Harkin); Mullen (76′ Duffy), Hoban. 

Attendance: 2,264