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A majestic second-half performance from Waterford FC saw Keith Long’s side continue the push up the table as Ben McCormack’s deflected header settled their SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division meeting with St. Patrick’s Athletic at a hopping RSC on Thursday evening last.

It was the visitors that had the first chance inside two minutes. A neat through ball down the left picked out the run of Ruairi Keating, who slipped the ball into the path of Brandon Kavanagh, but his low left-footed shot saw keeper Sam Sargeant get down to his right to save. 

There was another half-chance for the saints on 17 minutes when Kavanagh started another move down the left that set up Jake Mulraney, who put in a cross into the centre, but Mason Melia couldn’t direct his header on target.   

The top of the woodwork denied Stephen Kenny’s side the lead goal as they continued to press for the opener six minutes later when midfielder Chris Forrester cracked in a shot from 25-yards that had keeper Sargeant beaten, but the ball struck the crossbar before going over.  

St. Pat’s went close to the breakthrough goal once again on 29 minutes when Forrester picked up possession of the ball on the top of the penalty area, but with Sam Sargeant rooted to his spot, the ball flashed inches wide of the left-hand upright.  

After playing second fiddle for much of the opening half, the Blues did force a corner on 34 minutes when Padraig Amond won it out on the right that saw Ben McCormack whip in a brilliant ball to the back post, but Amond’s knockdown for Kacper Radkowski was hooked clear by defender Joe Redmond.  

Joseph Anang was called into action to make a smart save to deny the home side seven minutes later when Dean McMenamy had a shot that was blocked into the path of Padraig Amond on the left, but his half volley was saved at the second attempt under pressure from Christie Pattisson.  

Blues skipper Darragh Leahy came to his sides rescue on 42 minutes when Jamie Lennon slipped Jake Mulraney into the clear with a quick free-kick down the left, but his shot was cleared off the line by the defender.  

The second-half was seven minutes old when Waterford broke the deadlock. Darragh Leahy found space for himself out on the left before putting a super cross to the near post where Ben McCormack’s hit the post before the ball unfortunately rebounded off the keeper that took it over the line.  

As the sun came out at the RSC, McCormack was in the thick of the action once again for the Blues on 62 minutes when he latched onto a Amond flick on down the left, but Anang saved his left-footed shot at his near post.  

St. Patrick’s Athletic won a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the penalty area with 87 minutes when Alex Nolan was fouled and after the substitute stepped over the resulting dead ball, the Waterford wall done its job to keep his shot out.  

With six minutes of injury-time added on by referee Rob Hennessy, the home side were pegged back into their penalty box as the saints piled on the pressure in a bid to snatch a late equalising goal, but when Dean McMenamy won a crucial free at the death, it cemented another brilliant home win.  

The scenes at the final whistle from referee Rob Hennessy showed how much this victory meant to manager, players and the supporters as they celebrated another win against the Inchicore club once again this season. 

WATERFORD FC: Sargeant; Power, Horton, Radkowski, Leahy; McDonald, McCormack (69′ McCourt), McMenamy; Pattisson (90′ Arubi), Amond, Parsons (90′ Evans).  

ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Anang; Breslin (79′ Kazeem), Redmond, Grivosti, Sjoberg; Lennon (79′ Palmer), B. Kavanagh (79′ C. Kavanagh), Mulraney (51′ Levy), Melia; Keating (65′ Nolan), Forrester.  

Attendance: 2,786