Waterford FC vs Sligo Rovers
Waterford FC -v- Sligo Rovers FC
Friday, 26th March 2021
Rovers show there class to take the points at a bitterly cold RSC. Despite the weather, Waterford started at a blistering pace with an early goal but will rue a number of missed opportunities to build on their early dominance which ultimately, they were made to pay for.
The game started a frantic pace with Waterford seeing the lion’s share of possession in the opening stages. They tested the Sligo defence early with some dangerous crosses from wide men Mascoll and Waite, before Rovers young starlet Johnny Kenny found space to get an early effort on goal against the run of play.
The early pressure paid dividends when blues set-piece specialist Jamie Mascoll used his skill to deliver the ball right on the 6-yard box for Cian Kavanagh to head home.
Rovers responded well to this early set back with a flowing move down the right side that resulted in Kenny clipping the post with a glancing header from a Jordan Gibson cross.
Up the other end, Waite caused panic in the Sligo defence when he capitalised on a mistake from Rovers full-back Robbie McCourt and sent in a menacing cross that resulted in McGinty having to pull off an amazing double save to keep the blues at bay.
Just as the game started to settle down, the lively Jordan Gibson picked up possession out wide for the visitors and evaded challenges from Griffin and Mascoll to set-up Romeo Parkes at the edge of the box to hammer the ball into the Waterford net with a perfect volley. Parkes could and maybe should have put his team in front son after when he latched on to a long ball from Gary Buckley but failed to lift the ball over an onrushing Brian Murphy in the blues goal.
Rovers picked up where they left off after the break with a fast counterattack on 52 minutes. Gibson demanded the ball on the right, stood Waterford defender Shane Griffin up, and dropped his shoulder to curl an inch-perfect shot into the top corner.
Waterford found a spark in the closing stages with substitutes Eric Molloy and Daryl Murphy offering a different threat going forward. The new signing Molloy and winger James Waite both went close for the hosts, but the best chance came after a good spell of pressure on 75 minutes finished with Mascoll cutting in and sending the ball to Murphy at the back post who headed agonisingly wide.
However, Sligo continued their fine start to the new season with a hard-fought win over a young Waterford side that showed good quality on the ball but failed to make the most of the chances they created.
Waterford: Brian Murphy; Darragh Power, Kyle Ferguson, Cameron Evans, Jamie Mascoll; Adam O’Reilly, Oscar Brennan, Shane Griffin (Eric Molloy 67), Prince Mutswunguma (Daryl Murphy 63); James Waite, Cian Kavanagh (John Martin 80).
Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Colm Horgan, John Mahon, Garry Buckley, Robbie McCourt; Niall Morahan, Greg Bolger: Jordan Gibson, Walter Figueira (David Cawley 67), Romeo Parkes; Johnny Kenny (Ryan De Vries 72).
Referee: Paul McLaughlin.