Shamrock Rovers’ Gary O’Neill (left) is congratulated by his teammates after scoring his team’s second goal against Waterford at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly / Sportsfile
Shamrock Rovers made a history of their own, scrutinizing the future of former World Cup hero Kevin Sheedy as they watched Waterford in a windswept Tallaght stadium aside.
The Hoops have played 31 straight league games without loss, a league record that is already 2-0 thanks to goals from Rory Gaffney and Gary O’Neill, soft goals from a point at Waterford -The lead at halftime was secured ahead of a third from Danny Mandroiu.
Waterford manager Sheedy, with no assistant Mike Newell on the field when his number 2 initiated a seven-game touchline ban, left veteran goalkeeper Brian Murphy again off the day’s squad, and Sheedy also stuck to what he termed a protest against the standard of referees in the league: he had against on Friday Dundalk only had two outfielders on the bench and in Tallaght only four subs on the bench, one of whom was a goalkeeper.
These are worrying times for Waterford, this is the seventh loss in nine games but the former Everton star argues that due to the lack of protection of players from match officials, he is unwilling to risk young players despite Rovers- Boss Stephen Bradley will certainly do this, pointed out to his counterpart that he had to replace striker Aaron Greene ten minutes before the break due to an injury, which was the result of a duel against Greene by Tunmise Sobowale.
The rovers were already at this point 1-0, Gaffney with a smart finish after Danny Mandroiu got possession of the ball from a drop ball situation and played in his teammate. And after the free kick for Sobowale’s foul on Greene after 35 minutes, Waterford failed twice to clear one attempt by Dylan Watts, leaving O’Neill free in the box to score his first goal of the season.
Ten minutes into the In the second half, Waterford appealed to no avail for a penalty kick after John Martin fell into the box. Rovers reacted immediately when Max Murphy called on Mandroiu to score a third goal.
At least Rovers got another boost as they got Neil Farrugia off the bench for his first appearance of the season after an injury where he missed the last month of last season but seemed to be the U-21 international Having a groin strain and not being able to see the match. Rovers ended up with 10 men as their allotted substitutions had already been made.
ROVERS – Mannus; Grace, Scales, Hoare; Gannon, O’Neill, Watts (Williams 55), Mandroiu (McCann 55), Murphy (Farrugia 68); Gaffney (Nugent 68), Greene (Burke 35).
WATERFORD – P Martin; Power, Evans, Sobowale, Mascoll (Stafford 60); Waite, O’Keeffe, Mashigo, O’Reilly, Mutswunguma; J Martin.
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