|23/02/18||19:45||SSE Airtricity League||2018|
City looked to get on the front foot early. Three minutes in Karl Sheppard got free down the left wing before cutting inside and shooting with his left foot, but the shot was well wide. He got a second chance three minutes later, adding a deft flick to Kieran Sadlier’s driven pass, but this too floated over the crossbar.
Waterford looked to get on the attack following this initial forward offensive from the Leesiders. They got forward and won a corner but were unable to penetrate the City defence.
This turned out to be the story of the first half, with both teams playing decent football in the middle of the park but unable to break through the defensive line. As a result both teams were limited to efforts from distance.
Barry McNamee had a strike from range in the 14th minute, but this was too high to trouble the Waterford goal.
On the quarter hour mark the ball fell to Conor McCormack 30 yards out and he sent a stinging shot at goal, which was straight at Niall Corbett. McCormack had another go from outside the area nine minutes later, taking a looping strike on the volley, but it didn’t dip quick enough to trouble Corbett.
Waterford had their best chance of the half in the half in the 27th minute. Rory Feely’s cross from the right found Ismahil Akinade, whose close range header went narrowly wide, assisted in getting there by Alan Bennett getting a slight deflection on it.
The final two chances of the half came from free kicks, one for each team. In the 43rd minute Waterford had a free in a central area 20 yards out, but it was driven straight into the wall by Stanley Aborah.
The Leesiders’ chance came in the added time of the first half. From just outside the box on the right hand side, McNamee whipped it in and it came through the crowd to go narrowly wide, taking a touch off a Waterford player on its way.
City’s corner came to nothing and the sides went into the interval all square.
John Caulfield’s men came out looking a lot livelier in the second half, and they Almost took the lead five minutes in. Shane Griffin’s cross from the left almost went straight into the net, and Corbett did outstandingly to claw the ball out from under the bar.
The Leesiders’ then essentially ended the game as a contest with two goals in eight minutes, the first coming on the 55 mark. McNamee’s shot from the edge of the box was blocked, and the ball fell to Gearoid Morrissey, whose powerful first time shot with his left foot gave Corbett no chance.
The second goal came from a Griffin cross from the left to the near post, which found Garry Buckley who supplied a deft touch to put it past Corbett from close range.
City were in cruise control for the rest of the game, stroking the ball around the pitch. Waterford did attempt to get back into the game but the Leesiders’ defence held strong and Mark McNulty was not required to make a save in the second half.
Friday night’s result makes it two wins from two in the league as City look to continue the form that made them double champions last season.
Referee: Ben Connolly.