Waterford FC 0-3 Dundalk FC
Dundalk recorded back-to-back league wins for the first time since February 2020 with a 3-0 win over Waterford at the RSC on Friday evening.
First-half goals from Andy Boyle and Chris Shields, the latter on target from the penalty spot, put the Lilywhites in a commanding lead at the break before Michael Duffy added a sublime third just seconds after the restart.
The shine was taken off the win by injuries to David McMillan and Cameron Dummigan who both limped off and are likely to miss the trip to Longford Town on Bank Holiday Monday.
With Han Jeongwoo sidelined with an injury, Ole Erik Midtskogen came into the starting XI and Dundalk, who were looking to build on the Louth Derby win over Drogheda United six nights earlier, were on the front foot right from the off.
McMillan, who passed a fitness test before the game, was a constant threat and he pulled a shot just wide in the opening minute after getting free in the box. Minutes later, the striker buzzed with activity again but headed just wide.
An open game saw chances created at both ends. Waterford striker John Martin, who proved to be a handful for the Dundalk backline, got in behind but couldn’t find the target from an acute angle while at the other end, Patrick McEleney saw a powerful drive go just wide from the edge of the area.
Dundalk looked the more likely and they deservedly pulled in front when Duffy’s free-kick from the right was met by Boyle and his downward header beat Paul Martin – and the outstretched leg of the incoming Daniel Cleary – to find the bottom right corner.
Buoyed by that, the visitors sought to add to their lead and a stunning volley from Duffy forced Martin into an excellent save but they were let off the hook 10 minutes before the break when Adam O’Reilly slid in to meet a cross from the right but he sent it wide with just Peter Cherrie to beat.
Kevin Sheedy’s side were punished for the miss when Dundalk doubled their advantage from the penalty spot just three minutes before the break. After waving a host of penalty appeals away, referee Derek Tomney finally pointed to the spot when Junior, who replaced McMillan, was hacked down by Prince Mustwunguma and Shields stepped up to confidently dispatch the spot-kick.
The Blues were left floored when Duffy made it 3-0 just 29 seconds into the second half. Good approach play by Midtskogen and Junior ended with the winger curling a stunning effort into the top corner from the edge of the area.
Duffy had a chance to claim a second when he got in behind the hosts’ back four again but his shot was saved by Martin and Waterford rallied with John Martin firing a shot off the post before scooping a Sobowale cross against the bar.
Dundalk always looked dangerous going forward and Junior hit the outside of the post after latching onto McEleney’s superb pass but the night ended on a sour note when Dummigan limped off with a bad cut to his leg to leave the Lilywhites to see things out with 10 men.
WATERFORD: Paul Martin; Darragh Power, Katlego Mashigo, Jamie Mascoll, Cameron Evans; John Martin, Tunmise Sobowale, James Waite, Niall O’Keeffe, Prince Mustwunguma, Adam O’Reilly. Subs not used: Kyle Cooke (GK), Josh Collins, Jack Stafford.
DUNDALK FC: Peter Cherrie; Cameron Dummigan, Daniel Cleary, Andy Boyle, Raivis Jurkovskis; Chris Shields, Wilfried Zahibo (Greg Sloggett 72); Ole Erik Midtskogen (Sean Murray 66), Michael Duffy; David McMillan (Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe 31). Subs not used: Alessio Abibi (GK), Val Adedokun, Enda Douglas, Ryan O’Kane, Mark Hanratty, Jesus Perez.
REFEREE: Derek Tomney.