Waterford FC vs Derry City FC
Waterford FC -v- Derry City FC
Friday, 21st May 2021
Derry City take the 3 points back to the Brandywell after Ronan Boyce’s early header was enough to earn the Candystripes their third league win of the season. The blues created little going forward in the opening 45 minutes but a much improved second-half performance will give Marc Bircham’s young side confidence going forward in the season.
Derry flew out of the traps with a number of dangerous deliveries into the Waterford box. Will Patching’s relentless early crosses eventually found their target on 4 minutes when his delivery from a wide free-kick picked out Boyce who headed past the returning Brian Murphy to give the visitors an early lead.
The candy stripes continued to threaten with Eoin Toal heading just over the bar from another Patching cross. Murphy was called into action on 15 minutes and produced an excellent double save to deny Derry their second, Patching let fly from 25 yards out before James Akintunde failed to convert the follow-up.
The blues created their first chance of the game 5 minutes before half-time, Darragh Power driving run through the Derry defense was halted at the edge of the box before Shane Griffin curled a great effort over the wall from the resulting free-kick but Nathan Gartside just managed to tip it around the post.
Waterford started the second half on the front foot with Griffin winning the ball in midfield and found James Waite out on the right, the winger cut in on his left foot forced Gartside into a smart save at his near post.
Adam O’ Reilly had the blues best chance of the game on 55 minutes, Jamie Mascoll whipped in a fantastic ball right onto the head of the midfielder 12 yards out, but his effort went just agonisingly over the bar. Mascoll again sent in a floated cross to the far post 10 minutes later but John Martin couldn’t direct his effort on target.
Waterford pushed for the leveler late on and went close again when Power’s delivery from the right produced a scramble in the visitors’ box, the ball eventually found its way to the lively Mascoll but he couldn’t generate the required power in his shot to trouble Gartside.
It is a disappointing start for Marc Bircham and his men but the team showed promise and created a number of goal-scoring opportunities that could and maybe should have produced an equaliser. The blues will look to build on this encouraging second-half performance when they welcome Finn Harps to the RSC on Monday night.