Waterford too strong for St Pat's as Kenny Browne punishes his former club
Waterford 2 St Patrick's Athletic 0
CONSECUTIVE home wins on their Premier Division return has given Waterford reason to believe they can not only survive but thrive in the top flight.
After a 10-year absence from the top tier, Alan Reynolds’ side beat Derry City at home, lost at champions Cork City before securing a deserved victory over Liam Buckley’s men on Monday night.
Waterford’s ambitious start to the game was rewarded on 10 minutes by Kenny Browne heading in the opener against his former club and a screamer from Bastien Héry on 61 minutes wrapped up the points.
Kevin Toner was fortunate not to divert Izzy Akinade’s left-wing cross into his net but the Saints wouldn’t be so lucky from the resultant corner.
In a rehearsed set-piece, Browne raced to the near post to connect with a corner from captain Paul Keegan and the centre-back’s flicked header found the roof of the net.
Conan Byrne and Chris Fagan got little change out of the home defence. Rory Feely’s last-ditch tackle to thwart Byrne from close-range was the only occasion in the first half they got a sniff at goal.
By contrast, Waterford’s tempo in the final third didn’t relent after the interval. Saints keeper Barry Murphy twice had to be at his best, firstly from a powerful Akinade header soon after the restart that he batted away and then by diving low to foil Courtney Duffus.
All the pointers indicated a second goal was coming for the Blues and it duly arrived in sensational fashion.
Duffus showed great composure to lay the ball back and following up to rifle a shot home from 30 yards was the influential Héry, a former Paris Saint-Germain youth player.
Buckley’s side were unable to mount a fightback and, indeed, Feely should have deepened their woe in the last attack of the night.
The former Saint was allowed rampage into the box, yet angled his shot wide of the near post.
It didn’t dampen the celebrations at full-time as the Blues moved into second spot in the table.
WATERFORD – Vigouroux; Feely, Browne, Webster, Comerford; Keegan; Hery, Holohan, Aborah (Barnett 79); Ikinade, Duffus (O’Halloran 63, Daly 79).
ST PATRICK’S ATH – Murphy; Madden, Toner, Desmond, Bermingham; R Brennan, Garvan (Lennon 50); Byrne, Kelly (Markey 59), Clarke; Fagan (Keegan 82).