Treaty United host Munster rivals Waterford FC on Friday night at the Markets Field in the Airtricity League First Division. Both sides return to league action following last weekend’s FAI Cup first round victories over Usher Celtic and St. Patrick’s Athletic respectively.
Treaty were convincing 5-0 winners over the Leinster Senior League outfit last weekend with Sean Guerins picking up his first goal since scoring against Waterford in the Munster Senior Cup. Further goals from Dean George (x2), Enda Curran and Success Edogun wrapped up the win and their passage to the second round where they will now face Maynooth University Town on the weekend ending August 28th.
Unlike Treaty, Waterford FC were underdogs as they faced current cup holders St. Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park on Sunday. The Suirsiders put in a strong performance to win the game 2-3 and knock Tim Clancy’s Premier Division side out. They will also be favourites in the next round as they travel to Malahide United.
This is the third competitive meeting between Treaty and Waterford this season. The Limerick side won the Munster Senior Cup quarter-final 2-0 at the University of Limerick thanks to goals from Guerins and George. The game was due to take place at the Markets Field but the location was switched at just one hours noticed due to unplayable pitch.
In the second meeting at the Markets Field in the league, Tommy Barrett’s side picked up a 2-1 win over an Ian Morris led side. Matt Keane and Enda Curran gave them a 2-0 lead before Anthony Wordsworth scored to ensure a nervy ending but Treaty held on for the all important three points.
In the most recent meeting at the Regional Sports Centre, Waterford gained revenge with a 4-0 victory. The game was scoreless for a long period before the now departed Louis Britton opened the scoring. Further goals from Roland Idowu, Shane Griffin and another departed player Cian Kavanagh heaped the misery on Treaty who were enduring a bad run at the time.
However, Treaty have now won four games on the bounce and kept four clean sheets, much to the delight of vice-captain Marc Ludden who spoke to Adrian Finnin following the win against Usher.
“It’s old school Treaty and that was the bedrock of a good campaign last year. We have now kept more clean sheets than last year which is great. Callum (McNamara) has come in and performed immensely and credit to the whole back 4. It’s about the whole team shape and everyone is working for each other which is what we need.”
Ludden knows that his side will be up against it on Friday against an in-form Waterford but is hoping that their game plan can be a success.
“Waterford thought us a lesson on the last occasion in the space of 10 minutes in the second half and scored three goals. But, I thought in the first half we did well against them. They are a full-time team and have really good players but Tommy and the lads will have a game plan and we will work on it this week and its 11 v 11 and we will see what happens.”
As previously mentioned, two of Waterford’s top goal scorers in Cian Kavanagh and Louis Britton have joined Derry City and Cork City respectively but they still possess a lot of quality with the likes of Phoenix Patterson and Junior Quitirna among their ranks. Former Limerick FC player Killian Cantwell is currently plying his trade for Danny Searle’s side. New signing Wassim Aouachria has also impressed during his early appearances despite receiving a red card against Longford a fortnight ago.
The relatively new manager Danny Searle eventually replaced Ian Morris as manager following his dismissal and the club are currently 3rd in the league table. Treaty are two places further back in 5th but due to their recent good form, the gap is just 8 points and Longford, Wexford and the Limerick club are embroiled in a battle for two of the final play off spots.
Waterford have the best goal scoring record in the division with 48 goals scored. Treaty have lost less games than Friday’s opponents despite their inferior league position but have drawn 7 games while Waterford have drawn 2.