Having moved off the bottom of the table, two points clear of the students, the fight for the relegation play-off spot will be decided this Sunday when Derry travel to Waterford and UCD host Longford Town.
But it was Bohemians who started in whirlwind fashion and, indeed, should have scored after just 45 seconds.
A sweeping move from defence saw Robbie Doyle send Bobby Ryan away on the right and his low cross found Fergal Harkin who crashed his shot off the base of the post.
However, it was the home side who scored in the 17th minute. A cross from the right by Eddie McCallion eventually dropped into the path of Sean Hargan and he drove the ball high into the net from six yards.
That goal gave the home side great confidence and saw the Candy Stripes push forward at every opportunity. In fact, in the 20th minute Shay Kelly had to be at his best when parrying a Gareth McGlynn shot over his by-line at the expense of a corner.
Gary Beckett was very unfortunate; after he beat Jason McGuinness for pace, his attempted cut-back was blocked by Paul McNally and another glorious chance was lost.
Bohemians with Glen Crowe, Ken Oman, Simon Webb and Stephen Caffrey on the bench were denied in the 25th minute when a shot from Ryan was superbly saved by Derry keeper, Alan Gough.
After the break, with Derry appearing content to defend their slender advantage Gough did well to deny both Doyle and Dave Morrison as Bohs began to dominate the possession.
Derry threatened again in the 75th minute but Kelly got down well to save Beckett's blistering volley when he latched onto Mark Farren's cross.
In the 80th minute Derry went close to doubling their lead when, following a Gareth McGlynn corner, Robbie Hedderman's headed effort was cleared off the Bohs line by Harkin.
Two minutes from the end Jason McGuinness missed a superb chance to equalise when he headed over the crossbar from close range.
DERRY CITY: Gough; McCallion, Hutton, McLaughlin, Hedderman; McGlynn, Doherty, Martyn, Hargan; Beckett, Farren. Subs.,Holt for Hargan (63 mins.); Clery for Beckett (90 mins.); Deery for McGlynn (94 mins.)
BOHEMIANS: Kelly; Lynch, McGuinness, McNally, Morrison; Ryan, Harkin, Hunt, Rutherford; Keegan, Doyle. Subs. Crowe for Ryan (66 mins.); Caffrey for Rutherford (72 mins.); Oman for Keegan (81 mins.)
Referee: Mr E. Barr (Dublin).