Derry City 3 – 2 Waterford
Four second half goals ensured the the large Brandywell crowd got their value this evening, with the home side emerging on the right side of a five goal thriller.
Declan Devine made two changes from Friday’s defeat to Shamrock Rovers, handing Michael McCrudden his first start and restoring Darren Cole to the starting eleven.
The home side started very well and David Parkhouse was to prove a thorn in the side of the visiting defence all night.
City generated their first chance when McNamee and Junior combined down the right and a decent ball into the box eluded Harkin at the back post. Harkin wasn’t to be denied though as he latched on a knock down from Parkhouse to lash home after 13 minutes.
The Blues had been denied at the other end of the field but the cut throat nature of the top flight was shown as City broke at pace and finished to take the lead.
The home side were well in control for the rest of the first half and would have felt that Parkhouse could have scored one or two more before the break.
Waterford were forced to replace Kevin Lynch for George Poynton after the Waterford defender was hit in the face from a clearance.
In the second period the visitors made it very difficult for the home side to kill the game and they got their just rewards with a penalty to get them back on level terms.
Hery was bundled to the ground by Cole inside the box and Shane Duggan stepped up to fire home and get Waterford back on level terms.
In truth the home side looked to have run out of ideas, but the introduction of Delap for McCrudden gave City a different option.
The 20 year old, who missed out on the trip to Tallaght due to a family bereavement was restored to the squad and his probing runs offered the home side something different in the final third.
City restored their advantage when a superb cross from Patrick McClean was turned into his own goal by Rory Feely.
The Candystripes were to profit from a second own goal when Poynton scored at the wrong end under pressure from Delap.
However the visitors struck back in superb fashion when a long range strike from Galvin made it 3-2.
It was a nervy closing few minutes for the home side, who will feel that they could have killed the game off earlier.
Listen to manager Declan Devine below as he spoke after the game: