Water­ford move joint top as Ak­i­nade strikes twice

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SOCCER -

Water­ford moved top of the Premier Di­vi­sion along­side Cork City and Dun­dalk last night as Izzy Ak­i­nade’s brace helped over­come Dun­dalk at at the Re­gional Sports Cen­tre.

Dun­dalk lost skip­per Stephen O’Don­nell to a se­ri­ous look­ing in­jury be­fore con­ced­ing twice in the stop­page-time at the end of the first half. Although Ro­nan Mur­ray pulled a goal back with the last kick of the half, Stephen Kenny’s side were un­able to pro­duce an equaliser through a com­bi­na­tion of stout Water­ford de­fend­ing and profli­gacy up front.

Ak­i­nade had scored the win­ner in his last out­ing against Dun­dalk in Oc­to­ber, then as a Bo­hemi­ans player, and he forced Gary Rogers to turn his 35th-minute bul­let header around the post.

Set­back

Then came the lat­est in­jury set­back for Dun­dalk cap­tain O’Don­nell. There looked lit­tle in the chal­lenge from Stan­ley Ab­o­rah but the re­ac­tion of play­ers in­di­cated all was not well. Six min­utes were needed to treat the Gal­way na­tive be­fore he was stretchered off.

Ak­i­nade soon took cen­trestage, firstly tow­er­ing above the Rogers from a deep Rory Feely free-kick to nod the ball into an empty net. Hav­ing failed to score in his first 11 ap­pear­ances for his new club, the 24-year-old notched his sec­ond in a five-minute blitz. From Garry Comer­ford’s crisp ball into his feet, Ak­i­nade was given far too much room by Dan Cleary to brush off the Dun­dalk de­fender be­fore tuck­ing his shot be­neath Rogers.

Back came Dun­dalk with Mur­ray net­ting for the sec­ond suc­ces­sive game with a free-kick. While Rob­bie Ben­son and Pat Hoban missed a cou­ple of sit­ters for an equaliser, Paul Keegan’s vol­ley which clipped the in­side of the far post and bounced across the line sealed vic­tory. WA­TER FORD: Vi go uroux; Bar­nett, Comer ford, Web­ster, Fee ly; Keegan; Ab or ah (J Martin 69), Hol oh an,Hé ry; Akin a de, Duff us (Puri84). DU ND AL K: Rogers; Ho are, G art land, C leary (McGrath 46), Jar vis; O’ Don­nell( Shields 44), Ben­son; Mount ney, Mur­ray( Con nolly 63), Duffy;Hoban.. Ref­eree: D Tom ney( Dublin ).

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