A trip to the capital beckons for high flying Blues

Stradbrook

By @CraigOSul1

Waterford travel to Stradbrook to take on Cabinteely as attention returns to league action. With both sides enjoying a successful start to the week with wins in the EA Sports Cup and Leinster Senior Cup retrospectively, confidence will be high in both camps going into Friday’s game.

Pre-season promotion favourites Waterford suffered a shock 1-0 loss away to Athlone Town in the league opener. Since then Waterford have gone on to play 9 games and haven’t lost a game – 7 league games, and 2 EA Sports Cup games. In the last league outing Waterford made hard work out of what should have been a comfortable win.

As Waterford missed numerous chances and blew a two-goal lead midway through the second half, after a lapse in concentration let Athlone in for a consolation and soon after Athlone were awarded a penalty. Fortunately for Waterford, goalkeeper Matthew Connor was in top form and saved the resulting penalty earning Waterford a deserved three points.

Waterford beat Cobh comfortably on Monday last in the EA Sports Cup which extended the clubs current unbeaten run to 9 games. Waterford drew premier division champions Dundalk at Oriel Park in the quarter final of the EA Sports Cup following Mondays win over Cobh Ramblers.

Waterford will be aiming to go ten games unbeaten in all competitions for the first time in seven years Friday. After Waterford’s shock loss to Athlone, Waterford kick started their season with a 3-0 over Cabinteely in the RSC in front of 1,300 spectators in the previous series of fixtures which has seen Waterford remain unbeaten since. The ‘Blues’ will be hoping to repeat the feat in the forthcoming fixture.

During the off-season Cabinteely made big changes to their management and coaching team. Former Bray Wanderers Manager Pat Devlin signed a three-year contract to be director of football and first team manager, which saw former manager Eddie Gormley retain a new role at the club where he took up the position as first team coach. Graham O’Hanlon was also brought in as a coach alongside of the new head of recruitment Eddie Wallace.

Cabinteely brought in some big named recruits on the player front such as the legendary Jason Byrne, LOI veteran Daire Doyle, the former Ipswich youth player Cory Galvin and former Shamrock Rovers player Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters.

Big changes went on at ‘Cabo’ who are continuously growing and building their name and reputation in the league since their debut season in 2015. This year Cabinteely look a contender, and so far are showing they’ll be far from the wiping boys of the division.

Cabinteely have gotten some very impressive results such as a 4-1 win over last year’s play-off competitors Cobh Ramblers, a 2-0 win against 2015’s first division winners Wexford and probably the biggest win of the season when Cabinteely beat 2014 first division winners and one of this year’s promotion favourites Longford Town in Longford’s home ground – City Calling Stadium where Cabinteely came away as shock 2-0 winners.

Cabinteely announced big plans during the off-season and to date they’re showing they’re not in the league just to make up the numbers. A win on Friday night would see Cabo come within three points of promotion favourites Waterford. Having started the season with two losses, Cabinteely turned things around swiftly going on to get results in six of the next eight games in all competitions.

The past seven days has been relatively successful on the pitch for Cabinteely. In the last league outing against UCD one of the promotions hopefuls, Cabinteely came away with a point where the game ended two goals apiece. When attention turned to the cup competitions on Monday last Cabo saw Jason Byrne score his first goal for the club with Cory Galvin coming off the bench to score and set up a goal in Cabinteely’s 3-0 over fellow first division side Athlone Town. Cabinteely are set to face UCD in the quarter of the Leinster senior after Mondays win over Athlone.

This encounter is setting up to be a cracking tie. With both sides high in confidence, both teams will believe they’ve among their ranks enough to get a result.

This fixture for Cabinteely has proved to be a good one in the past where Waterford came away from the four encounters at Stradbrook with just one victory. Waterford will be extremely hopeful of adding to that tally going into this encounter. From the nine previous meetings between the sides Waterford have gone on to win five with Cabinteely winning two and the other two ending as draws.

Previous Meetings

2017​ – ​Waterford 3-0 Cabinteely

2016​ – ​Waterford 0-0 Cabinteely

​​Cabinteely 2-0 Waterford

​​Waterford 3-1 Cabinteely

​​Cabinteely 0-2 Waterford

2015​ – ​Waterford 1-0 Cabinteely

​​Cabinteely 1-1 Waterford

​​Waterford 3-1 Cabinteely

​​Cabinteely 1-0 Waterford

Cabinteely

Recent Fixtures

Cabinteely 3-0 Athlone Town (Leinster Senior Cup)

UCD 2-2 Cabinteely

Cabinteely 0-1 Shelbourne

Bohemians 1-0 Cabinteely (EA Sports Cup)

Athlone Town 3-3 Cabinteely

Top Scorers

Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters – 5 goals

Joe Doyle – 3 goals

Jack Watson – 2 goals

Key Players

Daire Doyle – Having been around the league a long-time Doyle brings a vast amount of experienced to this youthful Cabinteely side. A player for every young player to look up to and a leader that knows the league well.

Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters – The former Shamrock Rovers player has gotten off to a great start with his new club and thus becoming one of the most prolific players in front of goal in the league. Waters can cause problems to any defence in the league and he currently sits tied top of the goal scoring chants with 5 goals.

Evan Galvin – Evan has the tricky and creative to cause any team problems. Evan has become a key player since joining Cabinteely in the summer of 2016.

Waterford FC

Recent Fixtures

Waterford 2-0 Cobh Ramblers (EA Sports Cup)

Waterford 2-1 Athlone Town

Waterford 2-1 Cobh Ramblers

Wexford 0-5 Waterford (EA Sports Cup)

Longford Town 0-0 Waterford

Top Scorers

Mark O’Sullivan – 4 goals

David McDaid – 3 goals

Patrick McClean – 2 goals

Key Players;

Mark O Sullivan – Key man in front of goal for Waterford this year. O’Sullivan is Waterford’s top scorer in the league.

Anthony McAlevey – ‘Macca’ was one of the stand out players in poor Waterford teams in recent years. With a very strong squad this year McAlevey is surrounded by quality players thus Macca is flourishing.

Kenny Browne – One of the biggest transfers in the league of Ireland off-season saw Waterford native ‘Fletch’ return to his local club. Fletch has be pivotal part of the Waterford team this term alongside defensive partner and Derry native Patrick McClean.

Team News ;

Cabinteely

Injured: N/A

Doubtful: N/A

Suspended: None

Waterford

Injured: Sander Puri, Ian McLoughlin and Jake Evans.

Doubtful: Tom Smith and Davy McDaid

Suspended: None

Match Officials

Referee: Damien MacGraith

Assistants: Alan Sherlock and Declan Toland

Fourth official: Paula Brady

Odds (Paddy Power)

Cabinteely ​​4/1

Draw​​​14/5

Waterford FC​​ 8/13

Prediction

Cabinteely 1-3 Waterford FC