Waterford F.C. 0-0 Shamrock Rovers
The report on Waterford Local Radio after the game said it was an entertaining game and a draw was a fair result. That’s probably a fair summing up of the afternoon. The Hoops hadn’t much to crow about though in the first forty-five minutes. The pace of the game during that period was remarkably slow but that all changed in the second half. Waterford were probably unlucky not to have taken the lead in the first half. Rovers upped the pressure in the final 15 minutes of the game and might have scored during that period.
The Blues had two chances to score mid way through the first half, the first went wide, the second was blocked on the line. Shane Stokes put Aaron Dobbs in with a chance in the 29th minute – that was the first real opening created by the Hoops. Two minutes after that Luca Gratzer had to be sharp in goal to tip a long range shot from Owen Wall over the crossbar.
Coming up to the break Harry Cornally put a super ball in for Emmanuel Lawal but the winger didn’t make the best of it as he shot wide. Just on the blow Cian Collins put in a brilliant tackle to deny Sean Roche a clean shot at goal.
The Hoops were far more industrious in the second half and had more urgency about their play. Gratzer saved from Darryl Walsh’s free kick as the home side enjoyed a good spell. Then Rovers began to get on top and applied a sustained period of pressure themselves. Lawal benefitted from a neat through ball from Cornally in the centre and shot wide when he might have chosen a different option. Gratzer then brought off a good save when tested by Shane Griffin.
The Hoops finished the game the stronger of the two sides as the Blues defended desperately but effectively. Dobbs and substitute Luke Kiely worked a good move together to see Lawal in on goal but a desperate clearance from Justin Croke denied the winger the finishing touch.
Four minutes later Paul Martin saved from Dobbs. Lawal and Richie English found their efforts blocked by Blues defenders who were relieved to hear the final whistle minutes later.
Shamrock Rovers: 1. Luca Gratzer; 2. Shane Hanney, 21. Sean Callan, 16. Cian Collins, 3. Conor Gleeson; 19. Emmanuel Lawal, 8. Harry Cornally, 10. Richie English, 17. Shane Stokes, 7. Luke Rossiter: 9. Aaron Dobbs: Substitutes: Luke Kiely on for Stokes (71 mins), Dan Howlin for Cornally (85 mins). Mot used: Darragh Gibbons, Evan White, Conor Fitzharris.