At Regional Sports Centre
St Patrick's Athletic skipped above Derry City FC into fourth place in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division thanks to a 2-1 away victory against Waterford FC.
The home side's fans viewed the game as something of a grudge match since the visitors received a spot in the Europa League qualifiers which was originally their's, but goals from Conor Clifford and Dean Clarke following Cory Galvin's opener ensures St Pat's go into Thursday night's clash with Sweden's IFK Norrköping on the back of a domestic victory.
Harry Kenny brought in Ciaran Kelly and Clarke from the side who lost to Shamrock Rovers on Monday night while the Blues made four changes, with Maxim Kouogun drafted in to replace Captain Damien Delaney who retired yesterday.
Both sides started with attacking intent but cancelled each other out for the most part, with Rory Feely's feral blaze high and wide the home side's first shot 20 minutes in.
The visitors should have taken the lead minutes later as Clarke and Walker combined before Clifford curled an effort from the edge of the box comfortably into Matt Connor's arms.
The Blues opened the scoring on the half-hour mark when Lee Desmond gifted possession to Shane Duggan before Dean Walsh shifted the ball to Galvin. The nippy winger cut in and wrapped his right foot around the ball to bend it beyond the diving Clarke from the edge of the box.The lead only lasted a minute following a Kouogun foul after the restart.
Jamie Lennon notched an easy assist when Clifford allowed his quick free cross his body before unleashing a venomous but gorgeous right footed effort that swerved into the top corner from over 30 yards.
St Pat's had the best opportunity to go into the half with a lead when good work down the right hand side, where they tried to use to pace of Simon Madden and Clarke all half, led to a chance for the latter, but his effort forcefully clattered off the post and back into the heart of the action.
The second half started at a similar pace than the first but it was the visitors who moved ahead on the hour mark. Clarke sprinted in behind half-time inductee Poynton down the right flank and while his cross was overhit, he was on hand to finish the return ball, finishing emphatically in space after his initial effort was blocked.
The Blues tried to respond with Kenny Browne and Feely carving out their best chance as Duggan scooped a bobbling ball over the crossbar from the edge of the box, but the Saints held on to condemn the home side to their third successive defeat having survived a late scare when Dean O'Halloran's glancing header was brilliantly blocked by Brendan Clarke.
Waterford FC: Matthew Connor; Rory Feely, Maxim Kouogun, Kenny Browne, Kevin Lynch (Poynton, 45); Shane Duggan, Bastien Hery (C); Dean O'Halloran, John Martin, Cory Galvin (Lunney, 63); Dean Walsh (Holland, 63). Substitutes: Paul Martin (GK), JJ Lunney, Tom Holland, Georgie Poynton, Colm Whelan, Regix Madika, Darryl Walsh.
St Patrick's Athletic FC: Brendan Clarke; Simon Madden, Lee Desmond, Ciaran Kelly, Kevin Toner; Jamie Lennon; Dean Clarke (Markey, 74), Cian Coleman, Conor Clifford, Ian Bermingham (C); Jake Walker (Shaw, 57).Substitutes: Barry Murphy (GK), David Webster, Gary Shaw, Darragh Markey, Mikey Drennan, Chris Forrester, Rhys McCabe.
Referee: Sean Grant