Waterford United 0 – 2 Finn Harps
Waterford United’s poor start to the season continued as they lost out to a Finn Harps side that was rocked by an injury to their goalkeeper that forced a 21 minute delay to the game.
In a bright opening period the home side seemed in complete control of the match, even having the ball in the net at one stage. Gary Dempsey’s fine free kick from the right was met by Ben Ryan who thundered a header off the upright and when it came back to Paul Phelan, he floated a wonderful cross to the unmarked Seamus Long who headed home but an offside flag ruled out the goal in the fourth minute.
The Blues continued to press for an opener but everything changed on twenty six minutes when Harps’ netminder Ciaran Gallagher fell heavily after what seemed like an innocuous clash with Long. The young goalkeeper was knocked unconscious in the fall and after 21 minutes of treatment on the pitch he was removed by ambulance and the game restarted.
And it was the visitors that seemed to thrive after the resumption and their opener came just four minutes later when Simon Treacy strolled through the Blues’ defence and slotted the ball under Packie Holden.
They added a second just minutes before half time when Seamus Long headed into his own net and everything just seemed to go wrong after.
There was some hope late in the second half when Sean Maguire was bundled over inside the penalty area and referee Jim McKell awarded a penalty. But Gary Dempsey’s effort was well saved by 16 year old debutante Shaun Patton who replaced Gallagher between the posts.
Blues: Packie Holden, Peter White (Sean Maguire 54), John Frost, Craig Burns, Seamus Long, Gary Dempsey, Gary Dunphy (Jason Keane 78), Paul Phelan, Paul Carey, Aidan McGrath (Dylan Mernagh 78), Ben Ryan – subs: Robbie Hughes, Thomas Whitty, Jamie Cross, Jack Doherty
Booked: Dempsey, Long
Harps: Ciaran Gallagher (Shaun Patton 45+2); Ciaran Coll, Hugh Carlin (James Doherty 86), Peter Hutton (Aaron O’Hagan 82), Thomas McMonagle; Shaun McGowan, Adam Clarke, Thomas McBride, Simon Treacy; Kevin McHugh, Blain Curtis – subs: Ciaran Greene, Barry O’Mahoney, Thomas Bonner
Goals: Treacy 45+7, Long o.g. 45+21
Referee: J McKell (Tipperary)