Treaty United picked up a huge 2-1 victory over Waterford FC at the Markets Field on Friday night in the Airtricity League First Division. An early first half goal from Matt Keane sent Treaty on their way before Enda Curran added a second goal early in the second period after the sending off of Waterford full-back Timmy Sobowale. Substitute Anthony Wordsworth pulled a goal back for Waterford but Treaty survived a late set-piece onslaught against a physically imposing visiting outfit to secure the win.
Following last week’s defeat to Cork City, Treaty players and supporters were hoping for a positive response against another Munster rival. Manager Tommy Barrett made four changes to the side with both Joel Coustrain and Dean George dropping to the bench while Sean Guerins and Lee Devitt missed out through injury and illness. In their place came Mark Walsh, Matt Keane, Joe Collins and Enda Curran and a switch to a more attacking 4-4-2 formation with Curran partnering Kieran Hanlon up front.
Considering recent early concessions against Galway and Cork, Treaty fans would have been forgiven for thinking the worst as Phoenix Patterson skipped past Mark Walsh before shooting into the side netting despite the fact that both Junior Quitirna and Cian Kavanagh appeared to be in better positions inside the box.
However, the home side responded well and a re-energised Hanlon chased down a ball and blocked goalkeeper Brian Murphy’s clearance but Kevin Joshua cleared Curran’s weak effort off the line. Just three minutes later, Treaty took the lead when Hanlon laid the ball off to Marc Ludden who put in a low cross which was buried to the back of the net by Matt Keane at the back-post. Ludden’s corner deliveries caused panic in the Waterford penalty area as they looked for a quick second goal.
In the first half an hour, Treaty were dangerous in the final third and Steven Christopher’s cross was inches from the head of Curran and McNamara miscued an effort following Keane’s nod down. On the half hour mark, Waterford created their second clear chance when Niall O’Keefe’s shot was saved by Jack Brady. Treaty managed to contain their opponents in the first period and held a good shape for the majority of the half with both McNamara and Joe Collins working extremely hard in midfield.
Just five minutes into the second half, the game turned in Treaty’s favour when Timmy Sobowale was shown a straight red card by Gavin Colfer for a foul on Enda Curran. Just before the hour mark, Curran made the Suirsiders pay as he planted a header beyond Murphy following a superb cross from Charlie Fleming.
In truth, the sending off and the concession of the second goal appeared to spur Ian Morris side on and they made a double substitution with Louis Britton and Worsdworth introduced and switched to a 3-4-2 formation.
With the visitors pushing forward in search of a way back into the game, space began to open up for Treaty on the counter attack and substitute Dean George cut the ball back to Christopher at the edge of the area but his effort was easily gathered by Murphy. With 17 minutes remaining, Waterford almost pulled one back as Treaty fell asleep at the back post from the second phase of a free-kick but Kavanagh’s prod goalwards was brilliantly saved by Brady.
However, just two minutes later the away support were cheering as Treaty failed to sufficiently clear a corner and Worsworth powerfully headed into the net to give them real hope. Barrett introduced pace into the attacking third for Treaty as William Armshaw and Joel Coustrain were introduced. Those substitutions almost paid off on two occasions as Armshaw skipped past Eddie Nolan before blasting straight at Murphy. Shortly afterwards, Coustrain turned Joshua inside out before curling a shot just wide.
As time was running out, Waterford were relying on set-pieces to force chances and one final effort had Treaty hearts in mouths when Wordworth headed straight at Brady from a Griffin cross. Referee Colfer put the home supporters out of their misery as the team gained their first victory since the opening day win against Wexford. Treaty will now wait ten days until their next game at the Markets Field against Athlone Town on Monday April 4th at 7.45.
Treaty United: Jack Brady, Charlie Fleming, Mark Walsh, Joe Gorman, Marc Ludden, Callum McNamara, Joe Collins (Willie Armshaw 76), Steven Christopher, Matt Keane, Enda Curran (Joel Coustrain 76), Kieran Hanlon (Dean George 60)
Waterford FC: Brian Murphy, Timmy Sobawale, Eddie Nolan, Kevin Joshua, Jeremie Milambo (Louis Britton 62), Shane Griffin, Niall O’Keefe (Anthony Wordsworth 62), Yassine En-Neyah, Junior Quitirna, Phoenix Patterson (Roland Idowu 73), Cian Kavanagh