Waterford move joint top as Akinade strikes twice
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.
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 ).