A brilliant first-half goal from Courtney Duffus kept Waterford’s season on the boil, as Bohemians were left utterly frustrated at Dalymount Park.
Despite dominating for good spells and creating plenty of chances the home side couldn’t pierce a dogged Waterford defence.
To compound the Bohemians woes, their manager Keith Long was sent to the stand early in the second half, as only goal difference now keeps his side above the relegation play-off place.
Bohs began brightly, with Dinny Corcoran scuffing a volley straight through to Waterford keeper Lawrence Vigouroux and then Dylan Watts driving a shot wide from Keith Ward’s free kick, all inside the opening four minutes.
Though strikers Duffus and then Izzy Akinade worked half chances, Blues struggled to play their way into the game.
That changed utterly on 17 minutes, when the visitors took the lead against the run of play.
Bohs were aggrieved at not being awarded a throw-in at one end. Waterford broke, with Duffus linking with Akinade before cutting a little two easily past two defenders to get the ball onto his right foot and rifle it to the net from close range for a well-taken sixth goal of the season.
An unlikely source almost brought Bohs an equaliser three minutes later. Another Ward free kick on the left was met by the head of Blues’ midfielder Bastien Hery, who was happy to see Vigouroux save his blushes when diving full stretch to his right to push the wayward attempted clearance out for a corner.
As the half hour approached, Corcoran just couldn’t direct his header on target after Oscar Brennan put Kevin Devaney away on the right to cross.
Dylan Barnett would then clear a goal-bound Ward drive six minutes before the interval, as Bohs’ first-half endeavours reaped no reward.
Bohs kept playing into the second half and were left incensed 10 minutes in at not being awarded a penalty, when Watts certainly appeared to have been bundled over by Garry Comerford inside the area.
Such were their protests, Long was sent to the stand for remonstrating with fourth official Neil Doyle on the sideline.
It served to rouse Bohs further. Ward brought a save low down from Vigouroux before Devaney shot wide across goal, having conjured a one-two with Corcoran.
However, try as they might, Bohs couldn’t find an equaliser, as Waterford held out for a scarcely deserved three points.
BOHEMIANS: Supple; Buckley (Morris, 90), Cornwall, Casey, Leahy; Brennan (Gannon, 85), Watts; Devaney (Grant, 73), Ward, Stokes; Corcoran.
WATERFORD: Vigouroux; Barnett, Comerford, Feely, Daly (Puri, 73); Keegan; Kasmi (Martin, 81), Hery, Aborah; Akinade, Duffus.
Referee: Ray Matthews (Longford).
Paul Buttner Irish Examiner