Scoreless Draw Secures First Points 2012-04-06 20:43:00

Mervue Utd 0-0 Waterford Utd

Mervue United finally secured their first point of the season after they halted a five match losing run with a battling scoreless draw against Waterford United at Fahy's Field on Friday night.

Johnny Glynn's side will be much the happier after this game as Paul O'Brien's visiting side probably shaded things on the balance of play, but never really created any real clear cut opportunities and lacked that clinical touch were it matter as Mervue's back four put in a much improved display after last week's defeat in Wexford.

The home side still nursing a long injury list and missing both Stephen Walsh and captain Mike Elwood through suspension were forced to play Marc Ludden, who was making his first start of the campaign, at centre half with both Martin Conneely and James Casserley still injured also, while midfielder Barry McEntee continued at right back.

The visitors started brightly controlling play from the outset and Gary Dempsey had the first shot on target after five minutes but Brian O'Donoghue was well placed to collect under the crossbar. The lively Sean Maguire was played in by a Paul Phelan pass but he took the ball too wide before firing across the face of O'Donoghue's goal and wide on 12 minutes.

Three minutes later and Darragh Walshe did well down the right before sending a dangerous cross into the home box but no blues player could get the vital touch on the quarter hour mark. The game then descended into a game of corners for a period as the game swung from end to end with some poor deliveries from both sides.

Young Shane Keogh did deliver an excellent one on 35 minutes as he picked out Damien O'Rourke at the back post but the stand in skipper could only direct his header over Packie Holden's crossbar as a great chance was lost.

Waterford centre back Craig Burns then headed a Phelan corner just over as he met the inswinging dead ball at the near post three minutes later. Two minutes before the break and Noel Varley headed a long throw from the left from Marc Ludden over Holden's crossbar, while the tricky Maguire shot over from the right on the stroke of half time.

The second half saw the play and possession even up somewhat as the home side upped their game a bit and nine minutes after the break an Alex Lee ball out to Jason Molloy saw the striker volley into the side netting as he tried the spectacular.

Peter White pulled an effort wide from the edge of the box after good passing play saw Dempsey exchange passes with Maguire before laying the ball off to the blues midfielder for the chance. Winger Phelan picked out the unmarked Walshe on the edge of the six yard box but the alert Ludden nipped in and made a telling clearance on 63 minutes.

Mervue then introduced last season's top goalscorer as Tom King made his first appearance since last July following a cruciate knee injury, as he replaced a quite Etanda Nkololo on the wing and this change seemed to spur the home side on and especially when Alan Murphy also joined the action over ten minutes later.

Both subs almost combined to produce the opening score as King played the ball into Murphy's path in the corner of the box but the striker lifted his first time effort too high and over Holden's crossbar on 76 minutes.

Waterford regained the initiative for the closing ten minutes or so as once again Dempsey played the ball into Walshe who knocked the ball down for himself but then poked the ball past O'Donoghue's right hand post. The visitors piled on the pressure in the final minutes and it took some desperate defending to finally clear the ball as it bobbled around the home box before Ludden once again cleared the danger as the game entered injury time.

King went on one of his mazy runs in injury time but couldn't find a finish to match the run to end a good night for the winger on his return to action. Mervue manager Johnny Glynn was delighted after the game having secured a hard earned first point as he hopes to have a few more players back in the coming weeks, while Paul O'Brien wasn't too down hearted as he felt his side lacked an end product and are not sharp enough at present.

MERVUE UNITED: O'Donoghue 7; McEntee 7, O'Rourke 7, Ludden 7, Farrell 7; Lee 7, Keogh 6 (Murphy 75 mins), Varley 6, Nkololo 6 (King 64 mins); Hoban 6 (Collins 90), Molloy 6.

Subs not used: Crehan, Keegan, Dravins and Gleeson (GK)

Booked -Shane Keogh 63, Alex Lee 79, Pat Hoban 87.

WATERFORD UNITED: Holden 7; Carey 6, Burns 6, Dempsey 6, Frost 6; Ryan 7, White 6, Mernagh 6, Phelan 7; Walshe 6, Maguire 7.

Subs not used: Keegan, Higgins, Dunphy, Coad, Doherty, Kiely, Sean Whitty (GK).

Booked - None

Referee: Rhona Daly (Roscommon)

Attendance - 241 Man of the Match - Marc Ludden (Mervue United) - Made a good first start of the campaign playing out of position at centre half with some vital clearances.




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