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Padraig Amond had a good equalising goal ruled out for offside four minutes from time that denied Waterford FC a share of the spoils from their latest meeting with league leaders Shelbourne in their SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division clash at the RSC on Thursday evening last.

It was the visitors that had the first shot of the game on five minutes when former Waterford player JJ Lunney took possession of the ball 25-yards from goal, but his low shot was well held by Blues keeper Sam Sargeant.

Dean McMenamy broke onto a half-cleared Darragh Power right-wing cross two minutes later, but the midfielder failed to trouble Shelbourne keeper Conor Kearns as his effort from the top of the penalty area cleared the crossbar.

Shels nearly found the key to unlocking the Waterford defence on nine minutes. Liam Burt played the ball out to the left for Will Jarvis, who cut into the penalty area, but his low left-footed shot was parried away by Sargeant.

Mark Coyle continued the threat of the visitors with another chance on 14 minutes when the midfielder peeled off his marker to get on the end of a teasing right-wing Evan Caffrey at the near post, but he fired wide of the target.

A neat passage of Waterford player yielded a chance six minutes later. Dean McMenamy linked up with Christie Pattisson, who in turn fed Darragh Power, and his teasing ball to the near post saw Padraig Amond glance a header wide of Kearns’ far post.

It took some last ditch defending from Shelbourne to deny Amond the breakthrough goal with 26 minutes on the clock. Power sent in another good delivery from the right looking for the head of the centre forward, but Gavin Molloy got in a vital intervention to head the ball out for a corner.

Liam Burt picked out the run of Evan Caffrey with a well-drilled left-wing corner-kick on 43 minutes on the top of the penalty area, but his effort cleared Sargeant’s crossbar before Niall O’Keeffe did well to clear a dangerous Burt attack on the sound of the half-time whistle.

Ben McCormack latched onto a ball that broke off O’Keeffe for the first second-half chance on 52 minutes, but his shot failed to trouble keeper Conor Kearns before Padraig Amond was just off target with a free-kick two minutes later after a foul on Christie Pattisson.

It was a gift that saw the league leaders take the lead on 55 minutes. Niall O’Keeffe’s ball back to Grant Horton saw the defender slip under pressure from Will Jarvis, who raced clear on goal, and with only Sam Sargeant to beat, he finished cool as personified to the right-hand corner.

Connor Parsons carved out a chance for himself to test the Shelbourne keeper on 78 minutes when the winger cut in from the left to bring the ball onto his favoured right-foot, but his low effort was well held by Kearns with Padraig Amond ready to pounce.

Former Waterford player Matty Smith did have the ball in the back of the net for Shelbourne three minutes later when he followed up after Sam Sargeant had kept out a fine Will Jarvis effort, but his finish was ruled out for offside.

Padraig Amond was denied by an excellent save from keeper Kearns on 83 minutes after he got on the end of a Ben McCormack ball from the right, but the angled effort at the back post was saved by the legs of the netminder.

Amond did have the ball in the back of the Shelbourne net two minutes later when he rose highest to meet a teasing Ben McCormack ball into the area from the left, but the flag of assistant Eoin Harte was raised for offside.

Waterford FC: Sargeant; Power, Horton (75′ McCourt), Radkowski, Leahy; McDonald (30′ O’Keeffe), McCormack, McMenamy; Pattisson (65′ Evans), Amond, Parsons.

Shelbourne FC: Kearns; Gannon, Molloy, Ledwidge, Wilson (85′ Griffin); Coyle, Lunney Caffrey (76′ O’Sullivan); Burt (63′ Smith), Martin, Jarvis.

Attendance: 2,762