Murphy's late strike seals seventh for Mervue UtdOctober 9, 2012 - 7:00am
Waterford United 1
Mervue United 2
A goal two minutes into injury time from Alan Murphy in the RSC on Friday night sealed the three points for Mervue United which means they will finish the season ahead of city rivals SD Galway in the First Division table.
Murphy’s strike means SD Galway will finish bottom of the pile for the third successive season, and his goal also resolved issue at the other end of the table, as Mervue’s win meant Waterford could not catch Limerick at the top of the table.
Johnny Glynn’s side were impressive 4-0 winners at the RSC when the two sides met in the FAI Cup back in early September, but with Waterford clinging on to an outside chance of the First Division title, Mervue’s chances of a first-ever League win at the RSAC looked remote.
However it was the visitors who started the brighter, and Jason Molloy went close in the sixth minute. Waterford soon settled, however, and Seamus Long had their first real chance a couple of minutes later, but he couldn’t direct his header on target.
Darragh Walshe then twice went close for the home side, but he was thwarted by a combination of Ger Hanley and Martin Conneely in the 14th minute, and Hanley had to be alert 10 minutes later when Walshe again found himself with space inside the box, the ‘keeper denying him from close range.
Having soaked up some decent pressure, Mervue finally got sight of the Waterford goal again on the half-hour mark when Etanda Nkololo tried his luck from outside the box, but Packie Holden got down smartly to save.
Hanley kept his side in the game with another fine save a minute later, denying Paul Phelan at the back post after Dylan Mernagh caused Mervue problems down their left flank, and the home side continued to press, with Walshe and Sean Maguire both going close within the space of 60 seconds.
Mervue’s forays forward were sporadic, but they almost got the breakthrough in the 37th minute when Molloy showed some good footwork to release Jean Biansumba, but Holden was smartly off his line to snuff out the danger; while Pat Hoban went close on the stroke of half-time, his shot flying inches over Holden’s crossbar.
Just as they did in the first, it was Mervue who were the first to settle in the second period, with Hoban going close again, and Wateford thought they had taken the lead in the 63rd minute when Walshe deflected Peter White’s shot past Hanley, but he was adjudged to have been in an offside position.
Two minutes later and Mervue took the lead when Nkololo got clear of the Waterford defence to slot the ball between the legs of Holden. Waterford poured forward in a bid to rescue their remote title chances, but their task of getting back into the game was made more difficult in the 72nd minute when Long was shown a red card for a foul on Nkololo.
For more, read this week's Connacht Sentinel.