Alan Reynolds hailed his Waterford side for putting a fractured week behind them to claim an opening-night win at St Patrick's Athletic.

Reynolds fielded eight debutants in their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division opener, with three players joining less than 72 hours before kick-off.

It was a Waterford old boy who clinched victory in Inchicore, however, Kevin O'Connor beginning his second stint with the club in style by scoring a 49th-minute winner as the Blues clinched a hat-trick of wins at Richmond Park.

"For a new squad, it was a fantastic result for us, against a really good side," said Reynolds.

"We worked really hard. We were lacking a bit of quality at times but I couldn’t fault the effort. They were fantastic as a group.

"Two lads came in yesterday (Thursday), Brian Murphy came in on Wednesday.

Kevin O'Connor celebrates scoring Waterford's winner

"They all worked hard. That’s a non-negotiable, that’s what we look for. Could we pass the ball better? For sure. But there are some lads there who don’t know all the players’ names at this stage because we’ve only had them in. It’s a little unusual but that (win) will help them grow.

"We’ve beaten a really good side. We’ve been lucky at times. We won’t get carried away. We just have to keep working hard."

Veteran goalkeeper Murphy marked his return to the domestic game with two outstanding saves.

"Brian was excellent," said Reynolds. "We did really well to get him. He's happy in the dressing room.

"I thought we started well for 20-25 minutes. Then they gradually got on top. When we got the goal it gave us something to hang onto."

St Pat’s boss Stephen O’Donnell was frustrated by his side’s lack of composure in front of goal.

"The first half was a bit helter-skelter but I thought we could have showed a little more quality," he said.

"We then conceded a very sloppy goal. As the game went on we missed some very good chances and Brian Murphy pulled off a few great saves."

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