John Sheridan made a winning start to his managerial reign at Waterford as his new charges produced an organised and disciplined display to beat Shelbourne thanks to a solitary first half goal from John Martin in their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash at Tolka Park.
The victory, Blues' third of the campaign, moves them up to fourth place in the table ahead of their trip to Sligo Rovers on Tuesday.
Former Republic of Ireland international Sheridan, faced off against opposite number Ian Morris whom he signed twice as a player with Chesterfield where they won English League Two in 2011.
Sheridan started three of the four new signings Blues announced on Friday - Kurtis Byrne, Robert Weir and Tunmise Sobowale.
Teenagers Alex Cetiner and new signing Brian McManus came in for their competitive debuts for Shelbourne.
A bright start by Waterford brought a fruitless first corner of the game minutes in.
But they clinically punished Shelbourne on the counterattack to take a deserved lead on 15 minutes for what would prove the only goal of a fitful game.
A dreadfully poor Lorcan Fitzgerald free kick into the Waterford area was easily cleared. Byrne galloped forward to pick out the run of Tyreke Wilson on the left.
The fullback’s looping, deep cross was nodded back across goal by Sobowale. Matt Smith stretched to get a slight touch to put off goalkeeper Colin McCabe to present midfielder Martin with the simple task of tapping home from close range.
Somewhat disjointed, Shelbourne struggled to break down a well-marshalled Waterford with Robbie Weir orchestrating impressively in a holding midfield role.
Blues remained the better side with Smith firing wide while Byrne had a shot blocked by Shels' defender Luke Byrne before the visitors trooped off at the break full value for their lead.
With Ryan Brennan on for Cetiner, Shelbourne showed more purpose from the resumption with only a brave interception by Robbie McCourt on Karl Sheparrd, after an industrious run to the end line by Aaron Dobbs, preventing a 54th minute equaliser.
Waterford have come out on top at Shelbourne today thanks to this first half goal from John Martin! #rtesoccer #greatestleagueintheworld #watchloi— Soccer Republic (@SoccRepublic) August 1, 2020
Subscribe to https://t.co/9HrAoXnXYd to watch over 55 games pic.twitter.com/KSxmubODna
Brennan then hooked over the bar from Sheppard’s resulting corner.
Waterford survived that flurry by the home side to continue to be a threat when they got forward.
A fine move down the right, invoking Sobolwale, substitute Will Longbottom and Ally Coote carved a chance for Byrne whose shot was blocked by Dan Byrne before Gary Deegan cleared.
Try as Shelbourne might, they laboured to scarcely trouble Brian Murphy in the Waterford goal throughout as Sheridan’s side travelled back to Suirside worthy of the three points.
Shelbourne: Colin McCabe; Aidan Friel, Dan Byrne, Luke Byrne, Lorcan Fitzgerald (Alex O’Hanlon 76); Gary Deegan, Brian McManus (Sean Quinn 70); Jaze Kabia, Karl Sheppard (Dayle Rooney 70), Alex Cetiner (Ryan Brennan h-t); Aaron Dobbs (Ciaran Kilduff 76).
Waterford: Brian Murphy; Tunmise Sobowale (Darragh Power 90+7), Sam Bone, Robbie McCourt, Tyreke Wilson; Robbie Weir; Ally Coote, John Martin (Will Longbottom 59), Shane Griffin, Matt Smith; Kurtis Byrne (Alex Phelan 85).
Referee: Ben Connolly (Dublin).