Waterford FC manager Alan Reynolds pictured with Cork City fan, Gary McSweeney before Friday night’s game at the RSC. Photos: Noel Browne.
While the talk after the game was undoubtedly the unsavoury incident in the fifth minute of added time that resulted in six dismissals, three from each side, it shouldn’t take away from the fact that Waterford FC recorded another amazing result in their return to the top flight with a hard-fought win over champions Cork City.
Blues manager Alan Reynolds along with Bastien Héry and Stanley Aborah were dismissed while John Caulfield together with Cork players Garry Buckley and Steven Beattie were also sent off by the referee.
When referee Rogers looked back on the game, he’ll be asking himself why he didn’t sound the final whistle when Lawrence Vigouroux kicked out the ball a full thirty seconds after the indicated four additional minutes but instead a brilliant Munster derby played in front of 3,684 fans ended in chaos.
Speaking after the game, the Blues boss said, “It’s great night and I’m delighted with the result. I was disappointed that we conceded from a set piece so early in the game but also for the cheap free-kick that we gave away for the goal.”
TEAM OF CHARACTER
“But you have to look at the character that we’ve shown to come back into the game. I’ve said that to the players because that’s what we have in the dressing room. We have a team spirit that has gotten us this result here tonight.
“I thought that both teams were really going for the game in the second-half. It was going from end to end and it was wide open. I thought that we were better second-half. Cork are lively with Kieran Sadlier and Graham Cummins, who could catch you on the break but I thought that we shaded the second-half.
“Gavan Holohan has been getting a few assists for us this season and it was a great ball into the area for the equalising goal. I thought that he was really good tonight and put in a good shift but we need to work their keeper more than we did in the first-half.
“I felt that Cork were comfortable with us but we needed to take the foot off the pedal and just go for it. We did that in the second-half of the game. Courtney is claiming the goal in there. I thought that Stanley Aborah was outstanding tonight and I thought that he was different class.
“When you look at the crowd there tonight. They came to see that and the place was electric. Then we had the incident at the end of the game that I’m sure people will be talking about for a while. I’ll be honest I looked out and saw everyone going in together and I wasn’t sure what it was about.”
Reynolds also gave his view on the incident at the end of the game. “To me, teams care and it’s a Munster derby. There were three points at stake and it got out of hand if I’m been honest with you. I’ll have to look back at it and see because I’m just disappointed with that end of it but I really don’t want it to get in the way of the performance.
“John Caulfield cares about the game and he is passionate like we all are about Irish football but that doesn’t mean it snowballs into what it did. John runs out on the pitch so be it but I’ll address it with our players because what happened is something that we don’t want in our football club.
“I’m sure that John didn’t want that to happen where it snowballed into a melee on the sideline so we’ll have a look at it and move on. I’m disappointed obviously because it means that we’re missing both Bastien and Stanley for our next game.
“We’ll move on to Derry next but I probably won’t be available for that one myself but as they say in football they are the trips to miss! It will give our players the chance but we also have the situation where we have one or two that aren’t keen on the astro turf either so we’ll see what happens. We’ll be certainly missing bodies, that’s for sure.”
Waterford FC’s Gavan Holohan celebrates at the final whistle.