Waterford FC vs Drogheda United FC
Waterford FC -v- Drogheda United FC
Saturday, 8th May 2021
In difficult circumstances, our Under 19’s showed great spirit and bravery to represent the club at senior level. A squad that hasn’t played a competitive match in five months and 11 of whom are preparing for their leaving cert exams went up against an experienced league of Ireland XI that included the likes of Dane Massey, Darragh Markey and Gary Deegan.
Waterford had a solid start to the game, having their fair share of possession and limiting the visitors to very little in the opening 15 minutes, but Drogheda found the target soon after with Darragh Markey gliding past two challenges in the box and finishing from a tight angle. A second was added on 25 minutes when Mark Doyle headed in from a Jake Hyland corner. Drogheda quickly made it 3 with veteran defender Dane Massey striking home from just inside the box.
Kyle Cooke showed why he is one for the future with an acrobatic save to deny a Jake Hyland curling effort but could do nothing to prevent Chris Lyons adding to the lead on 40 minutes. Lyons tormented the young blues defence again 5 minutes later by winning and converting a spot kick to send the visitors into the dressing room with a handsome lead.
The second half saw special moments in the pledging careers of Michael Quinlan, James Maher and Alan Dunwoody, all coming on to make their league of Ireland debuts. And Waterford showed just why caretaker manager and Academy head Mike Geoghegan is so proud of these young men, the blues defended stoutly and held out for 30 minutes against their more proficient opponents before Massey smashed in a thunderous strike on 75 minutes.
With 10 minutes to go Waterford midfielder Callum Stringer collected the ball in midfield and hit an exceptional ball to set Liam Kervick away down the right wing, the winger took it down and sent in a dangerous cross that the Drogheda defence just managed to clear.
That was the closest the hosts got to scoring in the second half before Drogheda made it 7 with three minutes to go, Killian Philips capitalised on a scramble in the blues box to get the job done for Louth men. Next up for Waterford is an away trip to Sligo Rovers on the 15th of May.