Waterford 0 Bohemians 1
Rob Cornwall’s close-range finish a minute before half-time earned Bohemians their second win in a row against strugglers Waterford on Friday night.
The only goal at the RSC arrived when rookie goalkeeper Paul Martin tipped a free-kick from former Blues defender Tyreke Wilson's free-kick on to the crossbar and the ball rebounded for the centre back to tap home.
Martin was handed his first league start by Kevin Sheedy after regular goalkeeper Brian Murphy wasn't even at the ground, with the manager refusing to provide an explanation for the absence afterwards. Skipper Oscar Brennan was another surprise omission that he declined to discuss.
Isaac Tshipamba, a recent recruit from France, was promoted to the side and showed flashes of class, especially from a sixth-minute shot which curled wide.
Bohs showed the more attacking intent in the first half, with Keith Ward testing Martin with a stinging shot he gathered after initially parrying. Georgie Kelly, fresh from scoring the winner at Dundalk last week, wasted a golden chance on the half-hour by heading straight at the goalkeeper.
Set-piece specialist Wilson was to the fore in Waterford coming close to a European place last season and he showed them what they’re missing by setting up the winner on the stroke of half-time.
Waterford almost equalised three minutes into the second half. Jamie Mascoll's cross found Cameron Evans unmarked but the central defender couldn't generate enough power to trouble James Talbot in the visitors' goal.
That was as much as Waterford could muster, particularly having to play the last 25 minutes a man down due to Tshipamba’s injury after Sheedy had used up his three substitutes.
Jack Moylan should have added a second for the Gypsies on 70 minutes, only to fire straight at Martin while another sub, Dawson Devoy, was similarly profligate when sent clear in stoppage time.
WATERFORD: P Martin; D Power, K Ferguson, C Evans, J Mascoll; I Tshipamba, T Sobolwale, A O'Reilly (K Mashigo, 62 mins), J Martin; J Waite (J Stafford, 57 mins), D Murphy (P Mustwunguma, 36 mins).
BOHEMIANS: J Talbot; R Feely, R Cornwall, J Finnerty, T Wilson; A Coote, K Buckley; L Burt, R Tierney (J Moylan, 63 mins), K Ward (D Devoy, 63 mins); G Kelly.
Referee: Adriano Reale (Kildare).