FAI Cup R3
Date: 7:45 p.m. June 3, 2011
Venue: Regional Sports Centre
Waterford United caretaker boss Paul O’Brien made just one change from Stephen Henderson’s last game in charge as Gary Dunphy replaced Dwayne Wilson in the starting eleven, while New Ross Celtic looked to top scorer Mark Lee as their main threat.
New Ross Celtic started as the brighter side and had the first chance of the game but Anthony O’Connor fired his effort into the side netting. David Breen almost grabbed an early goal for the home side but he couldn’t make contact with Paul Murphy’s in-swinging free kick.
Gary Keane was next to threaten but his shot was blocked after good build up play from Conor Sinnott and Willie John Kiely. Back down the other end and Mick Lee reacted first to a breaking ball but his tame strike drifted wide.
The end-to-end nature of the game continue as Keane again had his strike blocked before Philip Drohan had another chance for the visitors but his effort went harmlessly over Kevin Burns’ crossbar.
Paul Murphy began to get a hold of the game and fired his first strike of the game straight at Deegan in the New Ross goal on the half hour mark of the first period. Deegan again had to be alert as he saved David Breen’s effort. Breen should have scored two minutes later but he headed over from five yards out from Keane’s cross.
Mark Lee had a great chance for the away side on 39 minutes when he drove toward the Waterford goal but his dipping effort narrowly missed the backpost. The opening goal arrived immediately down the other end. Willie John Kiely broke free on the right and crossed for Paul Murphy, and he met the cross with a first time volley into the far corner beyond Deegan’s flailing arm.
Mark Lee was again the source of New Ross’ chances but again his strike went harmlessly beyond the home team’s goal. Paul Murphy grabbed his second of the game after 57 minutes. Keane found Michael Coady on the left wing, he beat his man before crossing to Murphy at the back post and he volleyed low past Deegan for 2-0.
The home side began to dominate proceeding from here on in. Murphy almost completed his hat-trick minutes later but he fired wide. Kiely tried to get his name on the scoresheet too but saw his header saved by the impressive Deegan. Murphy, again, tried for his third of the game but once again Deegan saved.
Murphy was denied again by Deegan after Kiely’s cross from the left. Coady then set Murphy up again, this time a last-ditch diving block by Stephen O’Leary prevented the goal. Kiely then fired wide as the home side looked to add more goals.
Breen found Sinnott on the left, he crossed to the back post but Murphy’s strike dropped just over the crossbar. The illusive third goal finally arrived after 84 minutes, and Murphy was again involved. His long range strike was too hot to handle for Deegan and Dwayne Wilson touched in the rebound from two yards out, with his first touch after his introduction as a substitute.
Murphy then continued his quest for a hat-trick as he burst through the away defence but tried to find the top corner when one-on-one and fired just wide. Murphy’s final chance for his hat-trick arrived in the final minute from the penalty spot after Robbie Farrell had fouled Gary Dunphy. Murphy stepped up but saw his effort saved by Aaron Deegan.
And so Waterford United progress to the next round of the FAI Cup with a 3-0 victory and guarantee a happy start to the post-Stephen Henderson era. The second half chances alone could have seen a rout, but that would have been unfair on New Ross Celtic who battled hard throughout, but ultimately caused Blues keeper Kevin Burns’ little in the way of danger. Paul Murphy picked up the Man of the Match award on a night where he could have ended with at least six goal but for the heroics of away keeper Aaron Deegan.
Waterford United: Burns; Long, Browne, Murray, Coady; Sinnott, Dunphy, Breen (Dempsey 87’), Keane (Wilson 82’); Murphy, Kiely.
Subs not used: Byrne, Chin, Carey, Nolan, Barrett.
New Ross Celtic: Deegan; Cullen (Rhodes 61’), J. Mullet, O’Neill, O’Leary (B. Mullet 81); O’Connor, Grangel, Cashin (Farrell 61’), Phelan; Drohan, M. Lee.
Subs not used: Waters, Duffy, O’Brien, T. Lee.
Referee: Padraig Sutton (Dublin)
Man of the Match: Paul Murphy – Stunning performance from the striker. Scored two and could have scored many more, big threat all night and worked tirelessly. Notable mention for New Ross keeper Aaron Deegan also, some brilliant saves on the night.