Late Dean Walsh strike provides boost to Waterford and leaves UCD rooted to bottom
UCD 1 Waterford 2
Dean Walsh proved an inspired substitution for Waterford with a stunning late winner to leave UCD adrift at the foot of the table.
Liam Kerrigan had capped an impressive debut with a cracking equaliser to look to have got UCD back on survival track.
But Walsh struck to win it for Blues on 85 minutes.
Meeting John Kavanagh’s diagonal ball from the right, Walsh hit a first time left-foot volley that arrowed into the bottom corner to mark a first win in six games for Waterford.
On rebound from their 7-0 trouncing at Shamrock Rovers last week, UCD manager Collie O’Neill gave debuts to 18-year-old goalkeeper Tom Murphy and new signings Kerrigan and Sam Byrne.
Liam Scales also surprisingly came back into the Students’ defence pending his transfer to Bristol Rovers.
But it was Scales’ Ireland under-21 international team-mate, Zack Elbouzedi, who lit up the game with the lead goal for Waterford seven minutes in.
Back in the side after a two-month absence following under-21 duty in Toulon where he suffered a shoulder injury, the winger ghosted in from the left past several defenders before finding the bottom corner of the net with a crisp right-foot drive.
Despite going behind, UCD enjoyed a good bout of pressure, forcing several corners before the impressive Kerrigan brought a save at full stretch from Matt Connor again on 25 minutes.
Waterford survived to create a couple of chances just past the half hour.
First UCD defender Evan Farrell knocked a cross from Rory Feely onto his own crossbar.
JJ Lunney should then really have done better than shoot straight at Murphy from Maxi Kouogun’s lay off inside the area.
But Blues had Connor to thank for another good stop 11 minutes into the second half as the keeper got down smartly to parry a shot from UCD skipper Paul Doyle.
But Connor was finally beaten on 68 minutes.
Doyle slid a pass through for Kerrigan who cut inside to drill a low drive to the far corner.
UCD: Murphy; Farrell, Scales, McEvoy, Dignam; O’Farrell, Keaney, Doyle (Kinsella Bishop, 90+1), McClelland, Kerrigan (Ryan, 83); Byrne (Mahdy, 80).
Waterford: Connor; Feely, Kouogun, Slevin, Kavanagh; Duggan (Poynton, 83), Holland; Galvin (Chvedukas, 61), Lunney, Elbouzedi; O’Connor (Walsh, 74).
Referee: Paul Tuite (Dublin)