Daragh Walshe’s second half goal helped Waterford United book their place in the next round of the EA Sports Cup in a 2-1 win over Cobh Ramblers at the RSC on Tuesday night.
Davin O’Neill’s early strike put the visitors into an early lead but Ben Ryan and Daragh Walshe turned the game around for Paul O’Brien’s side.
Cobh Ramblers took the lead somewhat against the run of play after seven minutes. Alan O’Flynn had time on the left and he picked out Kynan Rocks in the penalty area. He found Davin O’Neill with a short pass and the former Cork City attacker had time to pick his spot and calmly pass the ball past Craig Hyland in the Waterford United goal.
Alan O’Flynn had another good chance minutes later but his effort went wide. Waterford United started to come back into the game and Peter White had a good chance to get his side level but he shot straight at Robert Birdsall after Peter Higgins’ right wing cross.
White had another chance shortly afterwards as Paul O’Brien’s side continued to press for the equaliser. Ben Ryan’s switched play to the left to Paudie Quinn, and his through ball set White away but his touch brought the ball wide and the chance was gone.
Robert Birdsall then kept Cobh in the game with a double save. Ben Ryan and Daragh Walshe both had good efforts saved before Peter White wasted another good chance.
Roy Kenna went close for the visitors after a poor clearance from Conor Coad before Paudie Quinn wasted another opportunity for the home side when he chipped the ball over Birdsall before seeing his shot drop wide.
All the pressure from the home side eventually paid off as the equaliser arrived. Paudie Quinn did well down the left and his cross from found Ben Ryan at the back post to fire the ball into the top corner of Birdsall’s goal.
The second half proved a tamer affair until Waterford United grabbed the lead midway through. Man of the Match Gavin Kavanagh found Peter White in the middle of the pitch before finding Ben Ryan. Ryan played Daragh Walshe through on goal and he finished well past the advancing Birdsall.
Andrew Bhandankar had a good chance to draw Ramblers level with 12 minutes remaining but Craig Hyland pulled off a good save. Cobh came even closer a minute later but Davin O’Neill’s header rebounded back off the post. Peter White was on hand to clear the ball from the goalmouth in their last chance of the game.
Blues boss Paul O’Brien will be pleased to get their first competitive win of the season but Cobh Ramblers will take a lot from a game that was in the balance for long periods.
Waterford United: Craig Hyland; Aidan McGrath, Seamus Long, Gavin Kavanagh, John Frost; Peter Higgins, Peter White, Conor Coad, Paudie Quinn; Ben Ryan, Daragh Walshe (Paul Quilty 89).
Subs not used: David Breen, Vinny Sullivan, Dylan Mernagh, Francis Rockett, Jamie Cross, Robbie Hughes.
Cobh Ramblers: Robert Birdsall; Brendan Frahill, Brian Fitzgerald, Gary Collins, Martin Deady; Alan O’Flynn, Roy Kenny (Danny Whelan-Aherne 73), Andrew Bhandarkar, Davin O’Neill; Jonathan Spillane (David Walsh 75), Kynan Rocks (Bobby Donoghue 57).
Subs not used: Sean O’Mahony, Adam Thompson, Ian Long, Shane Halllahan.
Referee: Graham Kelly
Extratime Man of the Match: Gavin Kavanagh (Waterford United).