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Rhys Marshall marks debut in style as Shamrock Rovers brush aside Waterford

Waterford 0 Shamrock Rovers 2

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Rhys Marshall celebrates with his Shamrock Rovers team-mates Greg Bolger, left, and Lee Grace, right

Rhys Marshall celebrates with his Shamrock Rovers team-mates Greg Bolger, left, and Lee Grace, right

Rhys Marshall celebrates with his Shamrock Rovers team-mates Greg Bolger, left, and Lee Grace, right

New recruit Rhys Marshall was to the fore on his debut as Shamrock Rovers strolled past 10-man Waterford to stay top of the Premier Division.

The former Glenavon man's cross led to Akin Odimayo scoring a fourth minute own-goal before he marked his bow with a sweet strike 13 minutes later.

Odimayo's Reading teammate, fellow loanee Andre Burley, got booked in the run-up to the opener and incurred another just before the second.

Referee Ray Matthews duly sent Burley off, leaving the struggling Blues down to 10 men for 75 minutes.

Apart from one chance which former Hoop Michael O'Connor saw deflect off Lee Grace over the crossbar at 1-0, Waterford failed to threaten that record.

They didn't need any more goals, running out comfortable winners and able to substitute the influential Byrne 25 minutes from the end.

That ended any outside chance they had of mounting a comeback against a Rovers side who've yet to concede a goal, never mind drop a point, this term.

In fact, Dundalk were the last side to breach their defence in the league stretching back eight matches to last September's 3-2 defeat at Oriel Park.

Waterford boss Alan Reynolds expected a rampant Rovers to attack from the off but didn't legislate for gifting an opener after just four minutes.

Byrne orchestrated the move by freeing Marhsall down the right flank and his cross was sliced into the far corner by Odimayo's wild swing.

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Michael O'Connor, booked for the second game on the spin, then fashioned a decent chance to level on 13 minutes.

His namesake Kevin started the move by teeing up Ali Coote to spot O'Connor but Lopes scampered across to block his shot.

Burley then deepened Waterford's task by clattering into the back of Dean Williams and picking up a second booking.

Waterford failed to clear Byrne's deep free, allowing Liam Scales to lay the ball into the path of Marshall 20 yards. The wing-back gave no chance with a first-time curler into the top corner.

Sustained Rovers pressure should have yielded a third before the interval.

Scales nodded wide from a corner and Dylan Watts was also marginally off-target with a low drive. The midfielder also skimmed the top of the crossbar with a deft header from Byrne's cross.

Only the brilliance of Murphy denied Rovers in the second half as he saved from both Dean Williams and Watts late on.

WATERFORD - B Murphy; S Bone, A Odimayo, A Burley, T Wilson; S Griffin; A Coote, R McCourt, K O'Connor (S Allardice 81); M Smith (W Fitzgerald 72), M O'Connor (W Longbottom 46).

SHAMROCK ROVERS - A Mannus; L Grace, R Lopes, L Scales; R Marshall (N Farrugia 72), G Bolger, D Watts, D Lafferty; J Byrne (B Kavanagh 65); D Williams, A Greene (T Oluwa 77).

Ref: R Matthews (Kerry).

Attendance: 1702.


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