Sunday 19 January 2020

Maguire magic can help lead Waterford to promised land

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

YOUNG Waterford striker Sean Maguire could hold the key to the Airtricity League promotion/ relegation decider with Dundalk tonight, and the outcome will shape his next move.

The highly-rated teenager has attracted interest from both home and abroad, and another season in Division One is not an option in terms of his development.

Waterford are desperate to hold on to him, but a host of Premier Division clubs are ready to make a move for the frontman whatever happens. Maguire was a thorn in Dundalk's side during the dramatic 2-2 draw in the first leg at Oriel Park.

The Louth men had a long-range strike from Stephen McDonnell and some fine saves from Peter Cherrie to thank for drawing on the night.

AWARDED

However, their task was made harder by the fully justified red card awarded to midfielder Stephen Maher while they led 1-0 midway through the first half.

They hope to welcome defender Derek Foran back for this game after losing centre-half Liam Burns to injury on Tuesday night.

McDonnell, who came off the bench in that encounter, could step in for Maher, with Dundalk boss Darius Kierans pondering whether to start with two strikers.

Waterford boss Paul O'Brien welcomes Seamus Long and John Frost back from suspension, but securing a draw in the first leg came at a cost, with Peter Keegan sustaining a badly twisted knee that rules him out.

Peter Higgins is 50-50 with a hamstring problem, while Willie John Kiely has not recovered from an ankle injury he picked up beforehand.

"We have a great belief in our ability and fear no one," said O'Brien. "We now play in the RSC with our destiny in our own hands."

Waterford v Dundalk,

Live, Setanta Ireland, 7.45

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