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UCD scored six goals at the RSC on Monday night to ease into the second round of the EA Sports Cup at the expense of Waterford United, who managed just a single goal in response. Four goals from a clinical Cillian Morrison, one from Daniel Ledwith and an own-goal from Peter White blew the Blues' chances of progression out of the water, for whom Sean Maguire scored a consolation goal.
Waterford started brightly thanks to some nice wing play from Paul Phelan who was played down the left channel. Phelan swung in a low cross which, only for a last ditch tackle, Willie John Kiely would have tapped home with a simple finish.
An overly cagey opening eventually saw UCD take control and start to dominate proceedings. UCD's first meaningful attack saw Graham Rusk almost open the scoring only for heroic defending from Craig Burns, who cleared off the line.
A minute later Dylan Mernagh should have put the Blues ahead with a free header from a Ben Ryan corner. The defender rose highest in the box but was unable to keep his effort down.
With a quarter of an hour gone, good work from UCD's Daniel Ledwith saw him send over a looping ball which bounced awkwardly into the chest of Mernagh. Cillian Morrison was first to react, rounding Packie Holden to slot into an empty net.
19 minutes in and Morrison made it 2-0 when he received the ball, opened up his body and steered his finish inside Holden's far post. The striker didn't have much space to work with upon receiving Ledwith's pass but doubled his side's lead superbly.
Two minutes later, Paul O'Connor found himself in space in the middle of the park and split Waterford's defence with a sublime pass which Morrison latched onto. The Students' striker rolled the ball past Holden and into the net for the 3rd time in six minutes.
The home side's best chance of a reply came late in the half as another good corner-kick delivery from Ben Ryan found Craig Burns, whose header was cleared off the line by Ledwith.
Then, just five minutes before half time, Blues striker Sean Maguire went over in the box but received a yellow card for simulation, to the disgust of the home fans.
On the stroke of half-time Morrison squared the ball to Ledwith and a heavy touch allowed him to outpace the Blues back line. Under heavy pressure, he delicately chipped a ball over the helpless Holden to make it 4-0 to the visitors heading into the interval.
The second-45 was eerily similar to the first, though as if played at half speed. Cillian Morrison got on the scoresheet for the fourth time just six minutes into the half. A beautifully-weighted pass from UCD right back Hugh Douglas found the deadly Morrison and he slid a neat finish past Holden to make it 5-0.
There was a rare moment of light for Waterford mid-way through the half when Kiely beat his man and got to the by line before cutting inside and hitting the post from an acute angle. It would only have been a consolation goal for the Blues though, who had been poor all night.
Morrison almost notched a fifth when he hit the bar with a thunderous strike from all of 20 yards, but the Waterford goal managed, for once, to hold out.
A moment of brilliance from Blues front man Maguire finally achieved a consolation for the home fans. The exciting 17 year old danced his way through the UCD defence, seeing his shot hit the post before it came back to the forward, who slotted home the rebound.
Ben Ryan fired a shot over from inside the box to threaten an unlikely second but the game had long since finished as a contest. On 75 minutes, things got even worse for the home side as Peter White glanced a header beyond his own 'keeper and compounded the Suirsiders' misery.
The game petered out in the final 10 minutes as UCD eased off on the pedal and were happy to let Waterford play the ball in front of them without ever threatening the most unlikely of comebacks. A five-goal margin was secured on the final whistle and the Students march on to the second round with Waterford left to lick their wounds.
Wateford United: Packie Holden; Craig Burns, Jamie Cross (Peter Higgins, 55), Peter Keegan (Paul Carey, 55), Dylan Mernagh; Gary Dunphy, Paul Phelan, Ben Ryan, Peter White; Sean Maguire, Willie John Kiely (Aidan McGrath, 63).
Subs Not Used: Lee Delaney, Jack Doherty, Robert Hughes, Thomas Witty.
Bookings: Peter Keegan (13), Peter White (31), Sean Maguire (41).
UCD: Mark McGinley; David O'Connor (Ciaran Nangle 62'), Mark Langtry, Hugh Douglas, Dean Clarke (Chris Mulhall 68'); Paul O'Conor, Daniel Ledwith, James Kavanagh, Paul Corry (Robbie Benson 46'); Graham Rusk, Cillian Morrisson.
Subs Not Used: Barry McCabe, Chris Lyons, Stephen Doyle, Niall Corbet.
Referee: Sean Grant.
Extratime.ie Man Of The Match: Cillian Morrison. Four goals, enough said.
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Four goals from Cillian Morrison helped UCD ease past Waterford United to the second round of the EA Sports Cup ...... Read more