Depleted Waterford count cost of suspensions after two more red cards in St Pat's defeat
St Patrick's Athletic 1 Waterford 0
WATERFORD will this week appeal the bans handed down to Bastian Hery and Stanley Aborah for their roles in the melee that followed their Munster derby win over Cork City.
Their problems deepened at Inchicore tonight as they picked up another pair of red cards in a game where they seriously missed the influential midfield duo.
Alan Reynolds’ options in that department have been further reduced, with first-choice playmaker Gavan Holohan and Estonian Sander Puri red carded by referee Graham Kelly in a lively affair.
The frustrated Waterford manager watched it all unravel from the director’s box as he was serving his one-match touchline ban arising from the brawl at the end of last Friday week’s success over the league champions.
It must already feel like a long time ago for the Blues, with the latter coming at a price. They have lost both of their matches since that victory which put them joint top of the table and on Thursday they will look for a reductions to Aborah’s six-game ban and Hery’s four-match sanction.
With Kenny Browne also out for six weeks due to a rib injury, Waterford were depleted for this trip and it showed, although the nine men showed heart to try and make it difficult for a St Pat’s side that were actually stronger when it was 11 v 11.
Despite the late wobble, Liam Buckley’s charges are an improved operation this term and burst out of the blocks, with the Blues looking a shadow of the side that prevailed when these sides met at the RSC in February.
The Saints dominated from the outset, with slick interplay merged with some good deliveries exposing a makeshift Waterford defence.
Their vulnerabilities were highlighted from a 15th-minute concession, with impressive playmaker Darragh Markey sending in a delivery that was glanced home by Ryan Brennan.
Waterford could have conceded before then, with Saints winger Dean Clarke booked for a dive in the box when he appeared to have a valid penalty claim.
The Saints would eventually be awarded a penalty by Kelly as they sought to add to their lead, but they didn’t want it. That’s because Brennan had fired home a right footer past Lawrence Vigouroux after Puri’s push on Jake Keegan.
Kelly had already pointed to the spot and the natives howled with frustration when Keegan sent his effort wide of the post.
The let-off galvanised Waterford, with front pair Courtney Duffus and Izzy Akinade dangerous as the interval approached, with good service belatedly coming their way. Diminutive Belgian playmaker Faysel Kasmi has been given an opportunity by the suspensions and he grew into proceedings following a slow start, linking play tidily.
Hope evaporated within five minutes of the restart though when Estonian international Puri, who had been booked for his role in the penalty, was given a second yellow for simulation.
Waterford were properly snookered when Holohan was sent for an early shower for a tackle on Markey, with the Kilkenny man protesting his innocence.
The hosts did have opportunities to remove stress from proceedings with promising young midfield talent Jamie Lennon to the fore. Richmond Park patrons were frustrated by the laboured conclusion, but they got the result they wanted.
Waterford will need to fight for one off the park on Thursday.
St Patrick’s Athletic – Murphy (Farago 45); Madden, Toner, Desmond, Bermingham; Brennan, Lennon; Doona (Byrne 88), Markey (Garvan 86), Clarke; Keegan
Waterford – Vigouroux; Feely (Kavanagh 45), Webster, Comerford, Barnett; Keegan; Puri, Kasmi (O’Halloran 70), Holohan; Duffus, Akinade (Martin 70)
Ref – G Kelly (Cork )