Brendan White at the RSC
Shamrock Rovers continued their 100% winning start to the Premier Division season after a comfortable 2-0 win away to Waterford FC on Monday night in front of 1,702 spectators.
Early goals from Rhys Marshall and an Akin Odimayo own goal set Rovers on their way while the Blues were reduced to 10 men after just 16 minutes.
The home side made one change from Friday's defeat with Shane Griffin replacing Scott Allardice. Visitors Shamrock Rovers made six changes with Rhys Marshall, Danny Lafferty, Greg Bolger, Dylan Watts, Liam Scales and Dean Williams coming into the squad.
The visitors started well and opened the scoring after just three minutes. Jack Byrne spread the ball wide to Rhys Marshall and his cross saw Waterford centre back Akin Odimayo slice the ball into his own net.
Waterford FC had a chance of their own after 13 minutes; Kevin O’Connor linked up with Ali Coote but Rovers defender Lee Grace did well to block Michael O’Connor’s strike.
Here are the two goals that have Shamrock Rovers ahead against Waterford FC - updates on all the #LOI games here #RTESoccer https://t.co/FsVJEBJARP pic.twitter.com/vOsmevUK4k— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) February 24, 2020
Alan Reynolds’ side were dealt a massive blow on 16 minutes when they were reduced to 10 men. Andre Burley, booked for a foul in the build-up for the opener, picked up a second yellow for a foul on Dean Williams and was sent off.
It got better for the visitors from the resulting free kick as Jack Byrne’s set piece fell to Liam Scales who laid the ball off for Rhys Marshall to brilliantly curl into the top right corner of Murphy’s goal.
Brian Murphy saved from Byrne before Dylan Watts’ shot narrowly wide as the visitors controlled the game. Byrne’s cross found Watts in first-half stoppage time but his header struck the top of the crossbar.
The second half started in the same fashion with the visitors well in control but neither Byrne nor Watts could add to the score; keeper Murphy saving the latter.
The visitors continued to control the game and went close to adding a third but Greene could only find the woodwork, before Murphy got down to save from Liam Scales minutes later.
Murphy was keeping the score down with Greene on target again but it was saved well.
Much as Waterford tried, they couldn’t create a chance of note to test Alan Mannus before BrIan Murphy’s terrific save denied Watts a certain goal in the final minutes as the visitors ran out easy winners.
Waterford FC: Brian Murphy, Sam Bone, Andre Burley, Akin Odimayo, Tyreke Wilson, Ali Coote, Shane Griffin, Kevin O’Connor (Scott Allardice 81), Robbie McCourt, Michael O’Connor (Will Longbottom 46), Matty Smith (Will Fitzgerald 72).
Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus, Rhys Marshall (Neil Farrugia 72), Danny Lafferty, Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Greg Bolger, Dylan Watts, Aaron Greene (Thomas Oluwa 77), Liam Scales, Dean Williams, Jack Byrne (Brandon Kavanagh 64).
Referee: Ray Matthews