Waterford FC won for the first time in four matches by emphatically accounting for sluggish St Patrick’s Athletic at the RSC.
li Coote availed of a gift to grab the breakthrough on 24 minutes, followed swiftly by John Martin’s third goal of the season.
Michael O’Connor polished off the first home win of the John Sheridan era by tapping in the third with 10 minutes left,sending the Blues into fourth spot.
St Pat’s enjoyed a lively opening, with Billy King posing major problems for Waterford down the left wing.
Inside the first 20 minutes, the Scottish winger got the better of full-back of Tunmise Sobowale to create changes that were spurned.
Luke McNally and Georgie Kelly were both off-target with their efforts but most culpable of wastefulness was Jordan Gibson. He was left unmarked at the back post from King’s 10th-minute centre, yet somehow stooped low to nod wide.
Despite being in full control, the Saints were punished by a defensive lapse on 24 minutes.
Robbie Weir has proven one of Sheridan’s most astute signings and his deep through ball from his own half caused confusion between Lee Desmond and Brendan Clarke.
When neither took control of the dropping ball, Coote nipped in to capitalise from close range.
McNally headed another chance over the crossbar within moments but Waterford struck their second four minutes later.
O’Connor peeled off his marker at the back post to steer Tyreke Wilson’s corner back into the six-yard box where Martin was first to react and head the ball beyond Clarke.
Stung by those concessions, Robbie Benson led the comeback charge for the visitors by firing wide and Waterford stopper Brian Murphy had to be alert to prevent his defender Jake Davidson nodding a goal beyond him on the stroke of half-time.
It failed to trigger a revival and Smith was afforded too much room on the left to pick out O’Connor for the third.
WATERFORD: B Murphy; T Sobowale, J Davidson, R McCourt, T Wilson; A Coote, R Weir, S Griffin (N O’Keefe 87), M Smith; J Martin (D Walsh 68); M O’Connor (K Byrne 83).
ST PATRICK’S ATH: B Clarke; R Feely (M Rennie 89), L McNally, L Desmond, S Griffin; J Lennon; J Gibson, D Ward (J McClelland60), R Benson (D Markey 84), B King (J Doona 75); G Kelly.
Ref: Paul McLaughlin (Monaghan)