Monday 16 September 2019

Returned hero Burke breaks Blues' brave resistance

Shamrock Rovers 2 Waterford 1

Shamrock Rovers’ Graham Burke celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal against Waterford last night. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Shamrock Rovers’ Graham Burke celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal against Waterford last night. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

The gap between themselves and league leaders Dundalk is back to four points but Shamrock Rovers fans will have endured, more than enjoyed, this win over a 10-man Waterford.

A flat atmosphere and a small crowd made for a lacklustre game where the key moment was a 51st-minute goal from Graham Burke, the first goal of a second spell with the Hoops for the Ireland international.

After a dull opening spell, the game burst into life for the last nine minutes of the first half, with two goals and a red card.

Rovers had been struggling to break down a resolute-looking Waterford side and it will pain manager Alan Reynolds that the Blues gifted Rovers their goal on 36 minutes, a poor backpass from young defender Robert Slevin falling into the path of Graham Cummins and he slotted home.

Level But Waterford were level within five minutes, JJ Lunney with a well-delivered free-kick for Dean O'Halloran to head home.

In first half injury-time, Waterford's Lithuanian international Karolis Chvedukas was shown a straight red for a high tackle on debutant Daniel Lafferty.

Jack Byrne of Shamrock Rovers in action against Walter Figueira of Waterford. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Jack Byrne of Shamrock Rovers in action against Walter Figueira of Waterford. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Rovers boss Stephen Bradley changed things at half-time, bringing on Jack Byrne and Aaron McEneff, but it was two recent signings who made the difference.

Six minutes into the second half, Lafferty sent in a low cross from the left and, somehow, Burke was left unmarked to stab the ball home.

Shamrock Rovers - Mannus; Callan, Lopes, Grace; Boyle, Bolger (McEneff 46), Watts, Lafferty (S Kavanagh 74); Burke; Greene, Cummins (Byrne 46).

Waterford - Connor; Kavanagh, Slevin, Kougoun, Lynch; Lunney, Holland (Elbouzedi 77), Chvedukas, Poynton; Fitzgerald (Bone 46), O'Halloran (Figuera 68).

John Kavanagh of Waterford in action against Daniel Lafferty of Shamrock Rovers. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
John Kavanagh of Waterford in action against Daniel Lafferty of Shamrock Rovers. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Ref - R Rogers.

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