UCD progressed to the last four of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup for the first time since 2007, with a 2-1 win over Waterford at Belfield on Friday night.
The First Division leaders more than held their own for the majority of the game, and they were two clear inside the opening half an hour. But a late penalty set up a tense finish at The Bowl.
UCD came into the game unbeaten competitively since late June. Waterford’s form couldn’t have been more different, having lost four of their previous five games in the Premier Division.
And while Collie O’Neill could start with the same team who had beaten Drogheda last time out, Alan Reynolds elected to make four changes, coming off a heavy defeat to Pats.
The visitors made a bright start, but The Students gradually began to settle into the game. They took the lead with twenty minutes on the clock, as Conor Davis scored his fourth goal in two games. He poked the ball home from close range, but huge credit is due to Greg Sloggett, who whipped in a perfect low, dangerous cross from the right.
Incredibly, College were two clear seven minutes later. Waterford initially dealt with a corner, but they only cleared it as far as Timmy Molloy. He took a touch, and pulled the trigger with his right boot from the edge of the box. It was a superb finish, across Niall Corbet, and into the top right corner.
The visitors were on top for the remainder of the first-half, but Gavan Holohan’s shot from distance was the closest they got to test Conor Kearns.
The game followed a similar pattern after the break, until the seventh-eighth minute. Rory Feely was taken down in the box, and up stepped Stanley Aborah to coolly slot the penalty into the right corner.
But UCD were able to survive, and with a maximum of four games left this season, they’ve two trophies to play for.