Waterford move into European contention with Sligo win

Sander Puri’s strike sees his side leapfrog Shamrock Rovers into third place

Sander Puri’s strike gave Waterford all three points against Sligo Rovers. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Sander Puri’s strike gave Waterford all three points against Sligo Rovers. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

Waterford 1 Sligo Rovers 0

Sander Puri’s fourth goal of the season moved Waterford into third spot in the Premier Division on goal difference.

Victory over Sligo edged ahead of Shamrock Rovers, who have their game in hand against Derry City on Saturday night, and into firm contention to secure a return to European football after a 33-year absence.

Noel Hunt should have at least hit the target on six minutes when connecting with Paul Keegan’s inswinging free-kick.

Sligo were being easily stretched at the back and Waterford took full advantage on 17 minutes.

Noe Baba’s long ball down the right flank released Hunt and his low cross was turned in by a first-time Puri shot from eight yards.

Kevin Feely wasted a good chance to add another shortly by angling his shot wide of the near post before Paul Keegan squandered an even better opening.

When Sligo only half-cleared a corner by Stanley Aborah, Feely laid the ball off for Keegan to have a clear sight on goal. However, he couldn’t beat Ed McGinty in the visitors’ goal.

McGinty had replaced the dropped Mitchell Beeney and once again stood tall in repelling a shot by Puri after Cory Galvin’s run on the counterattack ended with him picking out the Estonian in space.

Ger Lyttle’s side were struggling for ideas, with Mikey Drennan an isolated figure up front. They never threatened Niall Corbet in the Waterford goal.

In fact, they were fortunate not to lose by more as Aborah’s free-kick with six minutes remaining rebounded off the inside of the post.

WATERFORD: N Corbet; N Baba, K Browne, G Comerford, D Barnett; P Keegan; R Feely, S Aborah, S Puri, C Galvin (B Héry 60); N Hunt (I Akinade 85).

SLIGO ROVERS: E McGinty; K McFadden, J Mahon, P McClean; K Twardek (A Wixted 72), J Keaney, R McCabe, LJ Lynch, R Donelon (S Sharkey 54); M Drennan, R Cretaro (C McAleer 64).

Referee: B Connolly (Dublin)

Attendance: 1603.

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