St. Patrick's Athletic 0 -
Waterford FC 3
Izzy Akinade, Zack Elbouzedi and Aaron Drinan celebrating thre points and three goals against St. Pats at Richmond Park on Friday night.
SSE Airtricity Premier Division
An exceptional second-half performance from Waterford FC saw the Blues destroy St. Patrick’s Athletic in their SSE Airtricity Premier Division clash played at Richmond Park on Friday night last as goals from Izzy Akinade, Zack Elbouzedi and Aaron Drinan gave Alan Reynolds’ side a dominant 3-0 success.
After the European debacle saw St. Patrick’s Athletic take Waterford’s place in the Europa League, the Blues showed them on the field of play which club oozed class as the hosts had no answer to a second-half display that had the band of Waterford fans celebrating at the final whistle.
The opening to the game was very sloppy with both sides giving away needless free-kicks with John Martin’s tackle on Pat’s defender Ciaran Kelly on 12 minutes forcing referee Ray Matthews to issue the first yellow card of the game.
It was Kelly that threw himself at a fine Jamie Lennon left-wing corner kick minutes later, but the ball was cleared before Chris Forrester took a pass from Conor Clifford on 14 minutes however his effort was harmlessly wide of Matt Connor’s left-hand post.
Aaron Drinan had the first glimpse of goal for Waterford two minutes later when the on-loan striker from Ipswich Town ran at the home defence, but he fired wide before Matt Connor produced a top save to deny the hosts the lead at the other end on 19 minutes.
Chris Forrester was the player that carved out the chance when he spotted the run of St. Patrick’s Athletic captain Ian Bermingham out on the left after he got past Aaron Simpson, but his first time left-footed strike from 14 yards was superbly saved by the legs of the Blues keeper at the expense of a fruitless corner-kick.
The Blues had a glorious chance to take the lead on the half hour mark when a brilliant through ball from Cory Galvin sent Aaron Drinan clear on the right-side of the penalty area, but the centre forward with only keeper Brendan Clarke to beat dragged his shot wide of the far post.
It was Ian Bermingham that had the first chance of the second-half for the Saints on 55 minutes when the left-back got free at the back post to meet a right-wing Darragh Markey delivery, but his header was inches wide of the target.
After Aaron Simpson was forced off injured on the hour mark, his replacement Izzy Akinade struck for the lead goal on 63 minutes when he linked up with Karolis Chvedukas in a sweeping Waterford move before drilling a low right-footed shot to the left corner of the net past Brendan Clarke from 16 yards.
Cory Galvin nearly grabbed a stunning second goal five minutes later when he took advantage of a mistake in the Pat’s defence to take up possession of the ball 25-yards from goal, but his crisp right-footed shot whistled inches wide of the right-hand post with Clarke beaten.
The Blues doubled their lead with a superb second goal on 69 minutes when an excellent move saw Akinade slip the ball to Cory Galvin, who released Zack Elbouzedi and he held his composure to beat Brendan Clarke with a fine right-footed finish from inside the area.
Gary Shaw should have halved the deficit for the home side five minutes later when Jamie Lennon sent a ball into the area that Damien Delaney failed to deal with, but from six yards in front of an open goal, the Pat’s striker somehow managed to crack the ball off the post.
Aaron Drinan had a header after an Elbouzedi corner-kick deflected over the bar as the Blues continued to press on 83 minutes before Rory Feely put in an unbelievable block to deny Gary Shaw what looked a certain goal at the other end two minutes later.
A brilliant Waterford third goal arrived two minutes from full-time when Matt Connor produced a top save to deny David Webster and after Cory Galvin raced clear with the ball, he picked out the run of Aaron Drinan out on the right and he made no mistake when powering a right-footed shot past Clarke to put the icing on the cake.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Brendan Clarke, Simon Madden, David Webster, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham (Jake Walker `80), Conor Clifford, Darragh Markey (James Doona `71), Chris Forrester (Gary Shaw `60), Cian Kelly, Jamie Lennon, Mikey Drennan
WATERFORD FC: Matt Connor, Aaron Simpson (Izzy Akinade `60), Rory Feely, Damien Delaney, Georgie Poynton, JJ Lunney, Shane Duggan, Zack Elbouzedi, John Martin (Karolis Chvedukas `57), Cory Galvin (, Aaron Drinan
Referee: Ray Matthews (Kerry).