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Waterford FC produced one of their performances of the season, as the Blues dazzled a first-ever win at Tallaght Stadium on bank holiday Monday, defeating the reigning champions Shamrock Rovers by three-goals-to-one.

After suffering back-to-back defeats over the Easter weekend, Long’s men showed their class to win two games on the road following victory over Sligo Rovers on Friday before shocking Stephen Bradley’s side in front of a 4,843 attendance.

It was an explosive start to the game as the Blues took the lead from a set-piece inside three minutes when Dean McMenamy swung in a left-wing corner that saw Rovers keeper Leon Pohls put the ball through his own net under pressure from defender Kacper Radkowski.

Rovers could have been level within two minutes when Sean Kavanagh put in a teasing cross from the left that found the run of the advanced Trevor Clarke at the back post, but he blazed high over Sam Sargeant’s crossbar from close-range.

The champions drew level on eight minutes when Conan Noonan sent in a free-kick that was knocked back across goal by Kavanagh for Johnny Kenny, and after his first effort was saved, he made no mistake powering the left-footed rebound to the net.

A cracking start to the contest continued with the visitors having a good chance to regain their lead four minutes later. Padraig Amond sprayed a neat ball out to the left for Connor Parsons, who cut inside his marker, before firing a right-footed effort wide of Pohls’ far upright.

It was a stunning strike that put Waterford back in front on 17 minutes in a pulsating game when Amond’s effort was blocked into the path of Dean McMenamy, who took one touch before planting a right-footed stinger from 25 yards to the bottom left-hand corner past a helpless Leon Pohls.

A piece of indecisiveness from Waterford keeper Sam Sargeant saw the hosts have a chance to level on 33 minutes. He misjudged a Sean Kavanagh delivery from the left that saw the ball land at the feet of Trevor Clarke, but his goalbound effort was brilliantly blocked out for a corner by Grant Horton before Aaron Greene fizzed a 25-yarder inches wide of the target five minutes later.

The second-half started in the same tempo as the first with Rovers having a chance from a dangerous free-kick on 48 minutes when Robbie McCourt fouled Aaron Greene, but Markus Poom saw his thunderous effort tipped over the bar.

Daniel Cleary nearly put through his own net four minutes later when Rowan McDonald put a ball into the danger area that saw Grant Horton head goalwards, but the defender got the final touch that saw the ball go out for a corner.

After his magnificent strike in the promotion/relegation playoff at the same venue that saw the Blues won a place back in the top division, Connor Parsons pulled another rabbit out of a hat with a stunning third for his side on 54 minutes.

Maleace Asamoah picked up the ball just outside the penalty area before cracking in a well-struck right-footed shot that saw Leon Pohls get down low to save, and when the ball broke to Parsons, he powered an unstoppable left-footed strike to the net with the aid of the underside of the crossbar.

Rovers were denied a goal by the crossbar on 65 minutes when Greene slipped the ball through for Johnny Kenny, who let fly with a left-footed strike that had Sam Sargeant beaten, but the ball came crashing back off the woodwork.

Waterford continued to withstand the pressure that they were put under by the hosts with Dan Cleary having a header saved by keeper Sargeant on 78 minutes before the same player rattled the woodwork once again in the final minute.

There was fantastic celebrations when the final whistle sounded from referee Eoghan O’Shea as the Blues won their first-ever game against the Shamrock Rovers first-team at Tallaght Stadium and a first away win against the champions in 19 years as they lost at home for a first time in 16 games.

Shamrock Rovers FC: Pohls; Clarke (75′ O’Sullivan), Cleary, Lopes, Honohan, Kavanagh (56′ Byrne); Nugent, Noonan (56′ Farrugia), Poom (78′ Barrett); Kenny, Greene.

Waterford FC: Sargeant; Power, Horton, Leahy, Radkowski, McCourt; Asamoah (70′ Macadam), McDonald, McMenamy (90′ O’Keeffe), Parsons (81′ Pattisson); Amond.

Attendance: 4,843.