Waterford FC ended their dismal run of form as John Sheridan's side inflicted a 3-0 defeat on St. Patrick's Athletic at the Regional Sports Centre.

The two sides began the evening on the same amount of points in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table, but goals from Ali Coote, John Martin and Michael O'Connor earned the Blues their first win in six to move them up to fourth place, meaning the Inchicore outfit have now failed to win in their last four fixtures.

Brian Murphy returned in goal for Waterford while Martin replaced Kurtis Byrne, and Stephen O'Donnell also made a couple of changes, with Dan Ward and Shane Griffin drafted in in place of Ian Bermingham and Chris Forrester.

The Saints started the more threatening of the sides, with Billy King relentlessly marching down the left wing throughout the first half.

Robbie Benson set the Scot free for the first chance of the game but his cross bounced wide off the head of the diving Jordan Gibson, with Luke McNally and Georgie Kelly unable to connect with further efforts in the opening half hour.

Instead it was the home side who opened the scoring after Coote attempted to run in behind the Pat's defence before scrambling the ball into the net after Lee Desmond's moment of indecision.

Luke McNally nodded over a Benson corner within a minute of the restart and the Blues quickly capitalised by doubling their lead as Tyreke Wilson's deep corner was turned goalwards by top-scorer Martin, bouncing into the roof of the net over the head of the visiting defenders.

Without a goal in the last three, St Pat's profligacy in attack continued throughout the rest of the half as Benson pushed King's pull-back wide of Murphy's goal from the edge of the box, with Kelly seeing an effort deflected high and wide following a deft Jamie Lennon pass.

Waterford's Shane Griffin saw his free-kick deflect over the bar off the head of Shane Griffin following the restart and Matty Smith was looking busy down the left side for Sheridan's side.

The Blues had dropped points from winning positions in their previous three league games and they were reminded of the threat from the visitors when Benson fired a tempting ball across the box which somehow evaded the leg of the sliding Kelly in the six-yard box.

Even when they pushed however, they failed to really test Murphy, who comfortably collected a curling Gibson effort and a Benson header in the final quarter.

The game was wrapped up in the 80th minute as the impressive Smith broke in behind again before calmly flicking the ball with the outside of his boot across goal to captain O'Connor in the six-yard box to conclude an impressive – and much-needed – night for Waterford.

Waterford FC: Brian Murphy; Tunmise Sobowale, Jake Davidson, Robbie McCourt, Tyreke Wilson; Shane Griffin (O'Keeffe, 86), Robbie Weir, John Martin (Walsh, 65); Ali Coote, Michael O'Connor (C) (Byrne, 85), Matthew Smith.

Substitutes: Paul Martin (GK), Will Longbottom, Dean Walsh, Will Fitzgerald, Kurtis Byrne, Reece Murphy, Niall O'Keeffe.

S Patrick's Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Rory Feely (Markey, 85), Luke McNally, Lee Desmond, Shane Griffin; Dan Ward (McClelland, 60), Jamie Lennon, Robbie Benson (Rennie, 85); Jordan Gibson, Georgie Kelly, Billy King (Doona, 74).

Substitutes: Conor Kearns (GK), Ian Bermingham, Darragh Markey, Martin Rennie, Jason McClelland, James Doona, David Titov.

Referee: Paul McLaughlin