Longford Town were left singing the Blues after suffering their first away defeat of the season at the RSC on Friday night. The result now sees Waterford United leapfrog Longford into 2nd spot in the table.
This game changed in the opening 16 minutes of the second-half when Waterford scored two goals to take the lead and two Longford Town players received red cards; one on the field and the other off it.
After falling behind to a superb strike from Thomas Crawley in the 20th minute Waterford got back on level terms six minutes after the break; Town keeper Craig Hyland fluffed his clearance from Dylan Mernagh’s long-ball and Sean Maguire nipped in with the goal.
Minutes later Longford were reduced to 10 men when defender Willo McDonagh was sent-off for a challenge on Maguire. Amazingly, three minutes later referee Keith Callanan went over to the Town bench and flashed a red card at substitute Austin Skelly.
In the 66th minute Waterford took the lead when Paul Phelan’s cross was finished to the net by Peter Keegan. Longford though were back on level terms three minutes later when Tony Griffiths’ grabbed his first goal for the club with a free kick that got a slight deflection.
It really was end to end stuff and the action didn’t stop there. In the 74th minute the game swung back in Waterford’s favour, Peter Higgins with the pass and Maguire with the finish for his second of the game. The youngster really has been in terrific form for Waterford
Maguire got the hat-trick his performance deserved in the 89th minute. Michael Lee was adjudged to have taken down the striker in the box. Maguire dusted himself down and duly dispatched the spot-kick.
The first half had belonged to Longford and they really should’ve went in at the break leading by more. Karl Bermingham, Crawley and Griffiths all had early chances for the visitors while Maguire brought a good save out of Town keeper Craig Hyland in the 11th minute.
The deadlock was broken in the 20th minute; Griffiths played the ball to Crawley (who was celebrating his 21st birthday) and from just outside the box he found the back of the net with a sweetly struck shot.
Both sides had chances after. In the 41st minute Crawley found the back of the net for the second time but his effort was ruled out for offside and just before the Karl Bermingham really should’ve made it 2-0 but he missed a sitter. They were to rue those missed chances in the second half.
Waterford United: Packie Holden; John Frost, Seamus Long, Craig Burns, Dylan Mernagh; Paul Phelan, Stephen Mulcahy (David Breen 91), Gary Dempsey, Peter Higgins; Peter Keegan, Sean Maguire (Willie John Kiely 92).
Subs not used: Robbie Hughes, Jamie Cross, Ben Ryan, Aidan McGrath, Conor Coad.
Booked: Mulcahy (82), Dempsey (85).
Longford Town: Craig Hyland; Mark Salmon, Willo McDonagh, Aidan Collins (Darragh Reynor 84), Michael Lee; Tony Griffiths, Colm James, Keith Gillespie (Alan Kirby 77), Robert Bayly (Chris Deans 62), Thomas Crawley; Karl Bermingham.
Subs not used: Paul Hunt, Craig Walsh, Jamie Duffy, Austin Skelly.
Booked: Salmon (77).
Sent Off: McDonagh (56), Skelly (59).
Referee: Keith Callanan (Cork)
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Sean Maguire (Waterford Utd).