Gerard Grimes reports from United Park
Bastien Hery’s fourth minute strike was enough to send Waterford into the quarter-final of the FAI Cup with a 1-0 victory over Drogheda United on Friday evening.
That goal came from the first effort of the game from either side as the midfielder picked the ball up in space 30 yards out. His low drive found the far corner travelling through Paul Skinner’s hands.
Drogheda looked for a response and their first chance came on ten minutes with a free as Sean Brennan clipped the ball towards the back post.
United moved the ball from JAKE Hyland, though Luke Gallagher who found Chris Lyons at the near post but Niall Corbet gathered the header easily.
The home side looked threatening from wide areas as two minutes later Brennan crossed to the six-yard box. The ball was cleared, but only to the edge of the box where Lyons controlled and shot, but he fired over the bar.
Lyons turned provider on 23 minutes as he looked to find Ciaran Kelly and William Hondermarck in the box with a cross from the right. The ball fell to Conor Kane, who hit it first time, but the ball was always rising.
Waterford did still look threatening though and had several chances towards the end of the first half to double their lead.
First, a Waterford free kick deep inside their own half saw the ball played long towards the Drogheda box. Ismahil Akinade flicked it into Noel Hunt’s path but Skinner easily gathered the shot from the former Republic of Ireland international.
Hunt almost had another great chance three minutes later as Gary Comerford won the ball back off Mark Doyle on halfway. He broke forward and cut the ball across to Hunt, who saw his heavy touch take the ball past the last defender and run out of play.
Waterford did have the ball in the back of the net just before the break but Kenny Browne’s header from Dessie Hutchinson’s free kick was correctly ruled out for offside.
It took nearly a quarter of an hour for the first chance of the second half to appear. It fell the way of the visitors as a corner was crossed to the near post and headed agonisingly wide by Hunt.
The two best chances of the half, one for each side, followed in quick succession, first for Drogheda as brilliant work from Lyons saw him beat pick the ball up on the right and cut inside.
He beat three Waterford players and played in Mark Doyle, who had held his run, but the teenager couldn’t find the target, slicing a weak effort wide of Corbet’s goal.
Two minutes later, Hunt’s through ball opened up the Drogheda defence, playing Akinade in one-on-one with Skinner. The Drogheda ‘keeper got an important touch to the shot before the backtracking Farragher made sure the effort didn’t find the bottom corner, as he booted it away to safety as it looked to be bouncing wide.
Waterford went close again with 15 minutes to play, this time from another long-range effort, as Dessie Hutchinson’s dipping effort from 30 yards was just too high.
Drogheda continued to push forward in search of a late equaliser to take the game to extra-time, but it was Waterford who hung on to book their place in the last eight of the FAI Cup.
Drogheda United: Paul Skinner; Kevin Farragher, Luke Gallagher, Ciaran Kelly; Mark Doyle, Jake Hyland (c), Richie Purdy, Sean Brennan (Rob Manley 75), Conor Kane; William Hondermarck (Colm Deasy h/t), Chris Lyons.
Subs not used: Malachy Doyle, Sean Trimble, Kealan Dillon, Eoin McPhillips, Jordan Adeyemo.
Booked: Kevin Farragher (38), Chris Lyons (56), Conor Kane (91).
Waterford: Niall Corbet; Rory Felly, David Webster, Kenny Browne, Gary Comerford; Bastien Hery, Paul Keegan (c), Gavan Holohan (Dylan Barnett 86), Dessie Hutchinson; Noel Hunt (Dean O’Halloran 85), Ismahil Akinade.
Subs not used: Matthew Connor, Noe Baba, Reiners Rode, Carlos Wilson, Sander Puri.
Booked: Kenny Browne (55).
Referee: Robert Harvey.
Attendance: 600 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Conor Kane (Drogheda United).
4’ GGGGOOOOAAAALLLLL - Bastien Héry gives the Blues an early lead with a crisp strike from 25 yards. (0-1) pic.twitter.com/SPdPEER1xn— Waterford FC (@WaterfordFCie) August 24, 2018