Waterford FC 4 -
Drogheda United 1
Blues U17 winger Cian Browne shows a skillful touch against Drogheda at the RSC on Saturday.
SSE Airtricity Under 17 Shield
A dominant second-half performance helped Waterford FC progress into the quarter-finals of the SSE Airtricity Under 17 National Shield after they had to come from behind to defeat Drogheda United at the RSC on Saturday afternoon last.
It was a tentative start to the game with neither side able to gain control of the game, but it was Waterford that created the first chance on 18 minutes when Niall O’Keeffe pass picked out the run of Cian Browne on the left-side of the area, but his shot was wide of the far post of Drogheda keeper Ben Murphy.
Reece Murphy cracked in a shot from distance on 24 minutes but he failed to trouble keeper Murphy before Drogheda broke the deadlock two minutes later. Ugdchuatwu Anny Nzerudge turned provider for captain Josh Dunbar and he beat Ben Kirwan with a sweet left-footed strike from 20 yards that found the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
The Blues were level on 33 minutes when Alex Phelan was brought to ground in the penalty area by goalscorer Dunbar, but after Niall O’Keeffe had his penalty saved by Drogheda keeper Murphy, he hammered the rebound to the back of the net to restore parity.
It has to be said that Waterford took over the running of the game once scoring and they could have got themselves in front on 37 minutes when Sean Tracey sent in a cross that picked out the run of O’Keeffe, but after his first effort was blocked, the midfielder just couldn’t keep the rebound on target.
Reece Murphy should have done better with a chance that came his way on 48 minutes, but he headed a Sean Tracey free kick from the right straight at Drogheda keeper Ben Murphy. The Blues took the lead on 56 minutes when Tracey’s delivery from the right met Greg Waters and he headed the ball to the roof of the net.
A third goal three minutes later for the hosts really put the tie to bed when Cian Browne linked up with Alex Phelan on the left-side of the penalty area and he beat Ben Murphy with an acute angled shot that found the far right-hand corner of the net.
Waterford controlled the second half with keeper Ben Kirwan a mere spectator and it was Kyle Cuddy that added a fourth goal six minutes from the finish when he took a pass from Sean Tracey to slip the ball to the net from the right-side of the penalty area.
WATERFORD FC: Ben Kirwan, Ethan Flynn, Samuel Dwyer, Greg Waters, Sam Morrissey, Reece Murphy, Niall O’Keeffe, Scott Delahunty, Alex Phelan, Sean Tracey, Cian Browne, Kyle Cuddy, Cian Foley, Donal Porter, Leven Sarafin, Torik Adegoke
DROGHEDA UNITED: Ben Murphy, Pedro White, Sean O’Shea, Ross Harper, Lucas Maher, Josh Dunbar, Darragh Curtin, Luke Neville, Kyle Robinson, Ugdchuatwu Anny Nzerudge, Osasere Sere Ogiehor, Ross Quigley, Sam O’Brien, Luke Campbell, Aaron Smith, Greg Akinsanya
Referee: Adam Tszample assisted by PJ O’Keeffe and John Falconer.