Wood stuns hosts

 

The goal aside, there wasn't too much to get excited about at Dalymount Park yesterday. But, then, if there were more goals like this, there wouldn't be too many people complaining.

Barry Wood's stunning shot from more than 30 yards came after the striker had dispossessed Peter Hanrahan just inside the Bohemians' half and such was its quality that it made the trip to Phibsborough worth the effort.

United had coped well enough in a scrappy first half without threatening Michael Dempsey's goal but after the break, Mike Flanagan's side were under almost constant pressure from a side that looked hungry after the disappointment of last week's defeat by Shelbourne.

The hosts didn't quite know how to do it, though, especially as the ability of Brian Mooney and Fergal Harkin to get forward out wide was severely restricted by Waterford's wing backs Karl Gannon and John Frost.

United defended well in the centre, too, although their cause was helped somewhat by the fact that Derek Swan was well short of full fitness. When Raffaele De Gregorio came on for the second half there were problems for the visitors, who had to rely on Michael Devine to keep Bohemians at bay on more than one occasion.

The goalkeeper's best effort of the afternoon came early in the second period, when Derek McGrath and De Gregorio linked up well and Brian Mooney ended up with a wonderful opportunity to slip the ball just inside the right-hand post.

Bohemians should have generated a great many more chances but, even with so much of the play around the visitors' area, they weren't able, and only once did Waterford's defence look genuinely lucky to survive - when Graham Lawlor's cross from the left on 65 minutes was pushed behind at the far side of the box.

It was shortly afterwards that Wood struck with a shot that clipped the underside of the bar on the way in. "I could watch reruns of the goal all day," said Flanagan, Waterford's caretaker manager. "But the win is the most important thing and it's nice that we kept another clean sheet because that was the first thing I wanted to work at when I arrived here."

Bohemians: Dempsey; O'Hanlon, Maher, Mullen, O'Connor; Harkin, Byrne, McGrath, Mooney; Swan, Lawlor. Subs: De Gregorio and Hanrahan for Swan and O'Connor (half-time).

Waterford United: Devine; Smith, Rior dan, McGrath; Gannon, Harkin, Reynolds, Griffin, Frost; Dully, Wood. Subs: Reid for Dully (70 mins), Lacey for Wood (90 mins).

Referee: T Tully (Cork).