Waterford FC got back to winning ways with an emphatic victory over Derry City FC at the RSC tonight, doubling the three-point gap between them and the visitors in the Premier Division..
First half goals from Rory Feely, Izzy Akinade and Sander Puri ensured the majority of the 1,743 fans in attendance could comfortably enjoy their side's emphatic return to form, with a 91st minute Stanley Aborah finish capping a great performance from Waterford.
The Blues made three changes from the eleven who were defeated in Dundalk on Monday, with top-scorer Courtney Duffus returning up front, while Nicky Low and Darren Cole were drafted in for Kenny Shiels' 100th game in charge of the away side.
The Candystripes had the first big chance of the game after five minutes when top-scorer Aaron McEneff volleyed narrowly wide of Lawrence Vigouroux's goal from the edge of the box but the home side didn't look like a side without a win in five games.
Faysel Kasmi's left-footed set-pieces had been troubling the Derry defence in the early stages and two goals arrived in the space of three minutes following the Belgium's set-pieces.
In the 12th minute Puri won a corner following good link-up play between Duffus and Akinade and when the Derry defence couldn't deal with Kasmi's corner, Rory Feely pummeled the ball into the net from close range. Soon after the restart the visitors allowed a free kick to float through the box and the onrushing Akinade steered it goalwards for his third of the season.
At the other end McEneff found Rory Patterson in the box but his effort from a narrow angle was bet away by the Chilean netminder and while the Blues were winning the ball back high up the pitch through intense pressing, they were given time and space whilst in possession.
Estonian international Puri punished Shiels' side and extended the lead before the half concluded with a pure 30-yard strike that sailed beyond a diving Doherty.
In truth the Derry fightback never materialised throughout the second half. Nicky Low couldn't find the target with two efforts after Jamie McDonagh's quickly taken free-kick but Alan Reynolds' charges were still creating their own chances.
Duffus couldn't pounce when Conor McDermott allowed him through one-on-one with Doherty and the keeper got down well to save Feely's well-hit volley after the hour mark.
Midway through the half McEneff lifted the ball over the Waterford defence but Patterson could only blaze over and victors controlled the game from then until Rob Rogers' final whistle, with Duffus and Akinade both having attempts to add to the lead saved before Aborah added more gloss to the scoreline in injury-time.
Waterford FC: Lawrence Vigouroux (C); Rory Feely, Kenny Browne, Dave Webster, Dylan Barnett; Bastien Hery; Gavan Holohan (Martin, 81), Sander Puri (Walsh, 86); Faysel Kasmi (Aborah, 59); Izzy Akinade, Courtney Duffus.
Substitutes: Niall Corbet (GK), Derek Daly, John Martin, Dean O'Halloran, Dean Walsh, Stanley Aborah, Colm Whelan.
Derry City FC: Ger Doherty (C); Conor McDermott (Ronan Hale, 71), Darren Cole, Eoin Toal, Jack Doyle; Rory Hale (Logue, 86), Nicky Low, Aaron McEneff; Jamie McDonagh, Rory Patterson, Ronan Curtis.
Substitutes: Eric Grimes (GK), Gavin Peers, Cathal Farren, Ben Doherty, Ronan Hale, Aidy Delap, Niall Logue.
Referee: Rob Rogers