27 August 2023

Waterford FC vs Athlone Town


Waterford FC fell to defeat for the first time in nine games, as three goals in three minutes saw Athlone Town leave the RSC on Friday night with all three points in a 2-1 scoreline.

Keith Long made four changes to his side that drew with Treaty United on Monday night, as Darragh Power, Dean McMenamy, Romeo Akachukwu & Cameron Cresswell all returned to the starting-eleven.

Darragh Power had a shot saved early on, with the rebound falling to Romeo Akachukwu who just couldn’t get the ball out of his feet in time. In the next attack, Giles Phillips headed narrowly over from a Connor Parsons corner at the city end of the RSC.

The Blues continued to put the pressure on the Athlone defence early, as Parsons latched onto a loose pass before slicing his effort wide of Minogue’s right-hand post.

With 10 minutes on the clock, Darragh Power almost had the Blues in-front, only to see his close-range effort fire off the Athlone Town crossbar, after Ryan Burke had played Dean McMenamy in on the left-wing before McMenamy found Power at the back post.

Despite the Blues’ strong start, it was the visitors who opened the scoring after 13 minutes when Dylan Gavin reacted quickest from a Valerii Dolia corner to poke home and give Dario Castelo’s side the lead.

However, the Athlone lead didn’t last long as Roland Idowu levelled the scoring on the 15th minute mark. Dean McMenamy found Idowu in space on the edge of the Athlone box, who cut inside his man before firing a low-effort beyond Minogue to level the scoring.

The drama didn’t stop there , as just one minute later the visitors regained the lead. Oisin Duffy sent in a dangerous cross to Dolia at the far post, who in-turn found Frantz Pierrot before the in-form attacker fired home to put his side back in front.

Dean McMenamy thought he had the Blues back level on the 20-minute mark, only to see his effort from 20 yards brilliantly tipped onto the post by Enda Minogue in the Athlone goal.

Frantz Pierrot then thought he had scored his second of the game, when he found the top-right corner of Sargeant’s goal, only for referee Chris Sheehan to award a free out for Waterford for a foul on Darragh Power in the build-up.

Connor Parsons almost got on the end of a Dean McMenamy through-ball on the half-hour mark, as Keith Long’s side continued to try get back into the game.

Dolia fired narrowly wide of Sargeant’s post from distance with five minutes remaining in the half, before Cameron Cresswell’s acrobatic effort from Darragh Powers cross went just wide of Minogue’s post at the other end just moments later.

Dolia again had the first chance of the second-half, firing over Sargeant’s crossbar from distance.

On the hour-mark, substitute Christie Pattisson found Darragh Power down the right-wing, who’s cross found Cresswell on the edge of the Athlone six-yard area. However, Cresswell’s effort went inches over Minogue’s crossbar.

Serge Atakayi was brought into the action for the remaining 15 minutes, and had an immediate impact firing wide after Shane Griffin’s corner fell to him, as he saw his effort fly wide of Minogue’s far post.

In the final minute of normal time, Pattisson’s cross from the right found Cresswell in-front off goal, who forced Minogue into a low save at his far post, before Atakayi almost got on the end of the rebound.

The Blues continued to press for that equaliser in the six minutes of injury time, but that goal never came as the visitors took home all three points.

Waterford FC return to the road on Friday as the Blues make the long journey up to Ballybofey to take on Finn Harps in their latest SSE Airtricity League First Division clash.

Waterford FC: Sargeant (GK); Power (78’ Atakayi), Cantwell, Phillips ©, Burke; O’Keeffe, Akachukwu (57’ Griffin), Idowu, McMenamy (57’ Pattisson), Parsons; Cresswell.

Athlone Town AFC: Minogue (GK); Duffy ©, Fuentes Rodriguez, Van Geenan, Kavanagh (75’ Curtin); Campion-Hinds, McKenna, Hickey, Dolia (80’ Ryan); Pierrot, Gavin (67’ Forbes).

Attendance: 1,238