Waterford FC 2 Derry City 1
After last week’s goal gallery, Sam Bone and Shane Griffin supplied two more contenders to clinch a first home win of the season for Waterford.
Bone smashed a rocket of an equaliser two minutes before the break to cancel out Stephen Mallon’s opener for Derry City and sub Griffin nicked it at the death to delight the RSC crowd, not to mention tennis legend Martina Navratilova, who tweeted her appreciation to her 300,000 followers after catching the goal online.
Alan Reynolds gave a first Blues start to ex-Cork City and Shamrock Rovers striker Graham Cummins in an unfamiliar central defensive role. He replaced the suspended Andre Burley and was partnered by Robbie McCourt.
The Candystripes lacked a spark early on and it took a former Waterford player to fashion their first chance on 23 minutes, Walter Figueira firing in a cross that was too powerful for Tim Nilsen to connect with. Quick thinking by Derry then delivered the breakthrough on 32 minutes.
Kevin O’Connor switched off momentarily when conceding a free-kick on the left. Mallon advanced at pace and arrowed his shot inside the near post.
Waterford plundered their equaliser three minutes before the break, also from a set-piece. O’Connor made amends by hurtling in the corner that fell for Cummins to tee up Bone on the edge of the box.
On his weaker left-foot, he unleashed a first-time drive high into Cherrie’s top corner.
Waterford continued to be the better side after the break but had to wait until 94 minutes for the winner.
Griffin scored from 25 yards when Michael O’Connor’s shot was charged down by Conor McCormack into his path.
WATERFORD – B Murphy; T Wilson, G Cummins, R McCourt, K O’Connor; A Coote (W Longbottom 75); A Odimayo, S Bone, M Smith; J Martin (S Griffin 75), M O’Connor.
DERRY CITY – P Cherrie; C Horgan, D Lupano, C Harkin, M McChrystal; E Toal, C McCormack; J McDonagh (C Clifford 73), W Figuiera (J Malone 64), S Mallon; T Nilsen (A Liddle 69).
Ref – S Grant (Wexford)