Friday 25 May 2018

Akinade brace sees Waterford surge

Waterford 2 Dundalk 1

Izzy Akinade of Waterford in action against John Mountney of Dundalk. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Izzy Akinade of Waterford in action against John Mountney of Dundalk. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Waterford moved top of the Premier Division alongside Cork City and Dundalk last night as Izzy Akinade's brace helped overcome the Lilywhites.

On the latest night of high drama at the Regional Sports Centre, Dundalk lost skipper Stephen O'Donnell to a serious-looking injury before conceding twice in the stoppage-time it caused at the end of the first half.

John Mountney of Dundalk in action against Bastien Hery of Waterford. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
John Mountney of Dundalk in action against Bastien Hery of Waterford. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Although Ronan Murray pulled a goal back with the last kick of the half, Stephen Kenny's side were unable to produce an equaliser through a combination of stout Waterford defending and profligacy up front.

Akinade had scored the winner in his last outing against the Lilywhites in October, then as a Bohemians player, and he forced Gary Rogers to turn his 35th-minute bullet header around the post.

Then came the unfortunate latest injury set-back for Dundalk captain O'Donnell.

There looked little in the challenge from Stanley Aborah on his midfield adversary but the reaction of both sets of players indicated all was not well.

Courtney Duffus of Waterford in action against Sean Hoare of Dundalk. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Courtney Duffus of Waterford in action against Sean Hoare of Dundalk. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Six minutes were needed to treat the Galway native before he left the field on a stretcher.

Akinade soon took centre stage, firstly towering above the stranded Rogers from a deep Rory Feely free-kick to nod the ball into an empty net.

Having failed to score in his first 11 appearances for his new club, the 24-year-old notched his second in a five-minute blitz.

From Garry Comerford's crisp ball into his feet, Akinade was given far too much room by Dan Cleary to brush off the Dundalk defender before tucking his low shot beneath Rogers.

Izzy Akinade of Waterford in action against Chris Shields of Dundalk. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Izzy Akinade of Waterford in action against Chris Shields of Dundalk. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Back came Dundalk with Murray netting for the second successive game with a free-kick over the wall and into the roof of the net.

WATERFORD - Vigouroux; Barnett, Comerford, Webster, Feely; Keegan; Aborah (J Martin 69), Holohan, Héry; Akinade, Duffus (Puri 84).

DUNDALK - Rogers; Hoare, Gartland, Cleary (McGrath 46), Jarvis; O'Donnell (Shields 44), Benson; Mountney, Murray (Connolly 63), Duffy; Hoban.

REF - D Tomney (Dublin)

Izzy Akinade of Waterford celebrates after the match. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Izzy Akinade of Waterford celebrates after the match. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

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