Having drawn their last two SSE Airtricity League matches, Waterford now face the daunting task of welcoming a Dundalk side, that has won their last four, to the RSC on Monday night (kick-off 7.45pm).
The Blues did the Lilywhites a huge service on Friday night when they held Bohemians to a scoreless draw at Dalymount Park, enabling the Lilywhites to leapfrog Bohs into second-place in the table.
Manager Alan Reynolds will not be in such giving mode come Monday however, and he has called on supporters to get behind his team as they aim to beat Dundalk, something they achieved one year ago this month.
Speaking after the draw against Bohs, the Waterford manager said, “I thought, bar for the last five minutes, we shaded it and could have won it had we put a bit more pressure on.
“We were away from home and we kept a clean sheet and I think if we had been a little bit better in the final third, we could have won that.
“I’m sure they’ll [Dundalk] be flying. They seem to like coming to the RSC – last year they won one comfortably and then we won one, so we’re looking forward to the battle.
“We need the supporters to get out, like against Cork, when they came out and were like a 12th man.”
Waterford’s challenge against last season’s double-winners will be made all the more difficult with the absence of Kenny Browne, Karolis Chvedukas, Kevin Lynch and Dean Walsh, who are all injured.
With a game in hand, Dundalk closed the gap between themselves and Shamrock Rovers at the top of the Premier Division table to just four points on Friday after recording a 2-1 win over the Hoops.
A club record 70th league goal from Patrick Hoban along with Michael Duffy’s strike was enough to overcome Rovers, despite Orhan Vojic pulling a goal back for their title rivals in the closing stages.
“I thought it was an excellent performance from us against Shamrock Rovers. We feel that we are getting back to the level that we were at,” first-team coach John Gill told the club’s official website.
“It’s another building block for us. There’s great character and quality in this squad. We are thrilled with the win but it’s only one game and we are slowly but surely getting back to ourselves.
“We saw out the game cleverly at the end. We deserved the victory and we are happy with how the night went. We are moving in the right direction – we were 13 points off Rovers a few weeks ago.”
The Lilywhites don’t have too much time to revel in that result however, as attention now turns quickly to their trip to Waterford – one of just three teams to defeat them in the league last season.
“Waterford had a good result against Bohemians on Friday evening so they are in good form and have a strong squad,” continued Gill.
“We are going down to what will be a good pitch, there should be a good crowd. We have a bit of momentum behind us now, we have four wins on the bounce and the aim is to keep that going.”
Dundalk will once again be without the injured trio of Sean Murray, Stephen Folan and Robbie Benson.
Referee: Derek Tomney.
The very first meeting between these two sides produced a ten-goal thriller when Dundalk thrashed Waterford by a score of 7-3 at the old Athletic Grounds in Dundalk back on the 24th of August 1930.
The most recent encounter saw the Lilywhites win 2-1 last October at the RSC thanks to goals from Patrick Hoban and Ronan Murray, while Desmond Hutchinson was on the scoresheet for Waterford.
The only players in either squad to have represented both clubs are Waterford duo Karolis Chvedukas and George Poynton, although both racked up just 17 league outings for Dundalk between them.
Waterford 4/1; Draw 5/2; Dundalk 8/13
Waterford 0-2 Dundalk
Injured: Kenny Browne, Karolis Chvedukas, Kevin Lynch, Dean Walsh.
Injured: Robbie Benson, Stephen Folan, Sean Murray.
MONDAY FOOTBALL: Waterford FC continue their busy schedule this Monday at the RSC as the Blues play host to Dundalk - match preview on the way this afternoon. Tickets available now here: https://t.co/jkUrlIy3yb Noel Browne pic.twitter.com/mqWO9kvp4v— Waterford FC (@WaterfordFCie) April 28, 2019