League leaders Waterford hit hapless Athlone for six

Athlone Town goal scorer Walter Invernizzi gets to grips with Waterford defender Gary Comerford

Athlone Town goal scorer Walter Invernizzi gets to grips with Waterford defender Gary Comerford

League leaders Waterford FC have not been beaten since suffering a shock defeat on the opening day of the season to Athlone Town.

The Blues had little difficulty in collecting another win in Lissywollen last Friday (June 2 ) leaving manager Roddy Collins still looking for his first point.

The game was finished as a serious contest with little more than an hour played, at which stage the visitors led by five goals to nil. Walter Invernizzi reduced the deficit on the stroke of full time, but substitute Dean Walsh completed the rout in stoppage time.

Early Blues pressure paid off with the lead goal after just eight minutes, when John Martin scored the first of his three goals after David McDaid had provided the opening one.

Jason Lyons and Conor Barry had the first two chances for The Town but the lead was doubled after 18 minutes when the visitors beat the offside trap. Martin took advantage to score from 12 yards out.

Midway through the half, Lyons had a further chance and followed with a shot which was pushed behind for the first home corner. Invernizzi then headed over following a Jose Viegas left-wing cross, but Waterford made it three with 37 minutes gone. A devastating counter attack saw Mark O’Sulllivan round Igors Labuts and roll the ball into an empty net.

Invernizzi was again out of luck in the last minute of the half, but with little going right for the hosts his shot on the turn was put behind for a corner.

Dragos Sfrijan came on for Athlone on the resumption of play, but the Blues almost made it four within a minute when Kenny Browne’s opportunistic effort was parried by the keeper.

The next goal was not long away, as Joe Dwyer could only divert a left wing cross goal wards, with McDaid making certain as he chested home.

The game was then over as a contest and O’Sullivan somehow failed to make it five after 51 minutes when shooting over with the goal at his mercy.

The woodwork prevented Athlone from finally getting on the scoreboard, with Invernizzi again the unlucky party.

Colm Coss dropped back to the heart of the defence as Dwyer was replaced, but gave away a penalty after 62 minutes. Martin stepped up to complete his hat-trick with the spot kick, which saw Labuts diving the wrong way.

As full time approached, Waterford dropped their tempo a little and Invernizzi once more cursed his luck when heading against the crossbar.

The goal Athlone deserved finally arrived in the last minute when a Lyons right wing cross was finished to the net by Invernizzi. The scoring was not over yet though as in stoppage time substitute Walsh beat the offside trap to round the keeper and shoot into an empty net.

The mid-season break will be welcomed by Athlone, who must now regroup under new manager Collins, with a visit to Wexford on June 16 their next outing.

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