Waterford United 1 - 2 Mervue UnitedSat, Oct 06 2012
Mervue United ended Waterford United’s automatic promotion chances as they collected their first ever league win in the RSC with a late goal securing a 2-1 win on Friday night.
Etanda Nkololo stunned the home crowd with the opener before Seamus Long saw red for a challenge on the striker. A stunning Gary Dempsey free kick levelled the game but veteran striker Alan Murphy popped up with a late winner for the away side.
Mervue United took the game to Waterford United in the opening minutes and had a good chance after six minutes when Jason Molloy’s dangerous free kick forced Seamus Long to head behind for a corner. Seamus Long was in action at the other end shortly afterwards but he couldn’t keep his header on target from Gary Dempsey’s cross.
Daragh Walshe, back in the Blues squad for the first time in a few months, almost had an opening on 14 minutes, but Ger Hanley and Martin Connelly got back to deny the striker. Walshe was in action again minutes later as he looked to be clear but his strike was well saved by Hanley, who collected on the second attempt.
Mervue started to get back in the game and Etanda Nkololo forced Packie Holden into a good save on the half hour, but the keeper got down well to make the save. Paul Phelan was next to try his luck for the home side but his first time volley from Sean Maguire’s cross was brilliantly saved by Hanley.
The home side pushed for the opener and Walshe should have scored after 33, but he somehow failed to make contact with Peter Higgins’ inviting cross. The ball dropped to Paul Phelan and he crossed for an unusually quiet Sean Maguire but he couldn’t get his header on target.
Jason Molloy almost supplied Jean Biansumba eight minutes before the break, but Holden was out very quick to smother the ball at the striker’s feet. Mervue had the last chance of the first half but Pat Hoban’s powerful strike arrowed narrowly over Holden’s crossbar.
Mervue United almost grabbed the opener seven minutes into the second half. Pat Hoban was given too much time on the edge of the penalty area and he forced Packie Holden into a superb save. Jean Biansumba looked to get to the rebound but Craig Burns got back to make the vital block.
Waterford United thought they’d taken the lead shortly afterwards, as Peter White saw his shot deflect off Daragh Walshe and fly into the back of the net, but referee Keith Callanan disallowed the goal, much to the surprise of the 553 in attendance in the RSC.
Straight down the other end and the deadlock was broken. Etanda Nkololo latched onto a Blues mistake at the back and he slotted the ball superbly through the legs of Waterford keeper Packie Holden.
The home side were left to face up to another controversial moment eighteen minutes before the end. Etanda Nkololo was off the pitch getting attention for an injury when he rejoined from behind John Frost and intercepted the ball. The ball broke which saw Seamus Long challenge the striker, a tackle that referee Keith Callanan adjudged to be a straight red card offence. It was the third red card the Cork referee has shown in the RSC in his last two games.
That red card seemed to spur on The Blues and they were level just three minutes later. Martin Conneely fouled Sean Maguire on the edge of the penalty area and Gary Dempsey curled a superb right footed free kick past Ger Hanley. It was Dempsey’s third goal from free kicks in his last two matches.
Mervue had a good chance to grab the winner through Tom King but he wasted his opportunity. At the other end, Ger Hanley had to be alert to make a smart save from David Breen’s header. Etanda Nkololo had a chance in the final minutes on the ninety, but he fired over after good work from Pat Hoban and Alan Murphy.
As The Blues pushed for a winner to keep up their chase of Limerick, Mervue United stole all three points two minutes into stoppage time with a fine passing move. Pat Hoban picked out Tom King who in turn laid the ball off for Alan Murphy to fire past Packie Holden for a late, late winner.
The result means that Waterford United now cannot catch Limerick and must settle for a play-off place. For the away side, the three points ensures that Mervue United can’t finish as the bottom placed team in the First Division.
Waterford United: Packie Holden; Dylan Mernagh (Paul Carey 33’), Seamus Long, Craig Burns, John Frost; Peter Higgins (David Breen 76), Gary Dempsey, Peter White, Paul Phelan (Jack Doherty 66); Daragh Walshe, Sean Maguire.
Subs not used: Aidan McGrath, Ben Ryan, Willie John Kiely, Robbie Hughes.
Booked: Frost (45+1), White (58).
Sent off: Long (72).
Mervue United: Ger Hanley; Michael McSweeney, Martin Connelly, Gary Kelly, Stephen Walsh; Jason Molloy, Noel Varley, Tom King, Etanda Nkololo (Cian McBrien 94); Pat Hoban, Jean Biansumba (Alan Murphy 61).
Subs not used: Michael Elwood, Conor Gleeson.
Booked: Murphy (66), Conneely (74), Walsh (82).
Referee: Keith Callanan.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Pat Hoban (Mervue United).
Brendan White is Extratime News Editor and is responsible for the news section of Extratime.ie. Brendan also covers matches in Dublin and Waterford. You can contact Brendan at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @whitebrendan.