Dominant Bohemians laboured to a narrow win at struggling Waterford last night, with Rob Cornwall’s goal a minute before half-time securing a second straight victory.
Keith Long’s Gypsies finished second last season but this upturn was badly needed after picking up just one point from their opening three matches.
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 onto the crossbar. When the rebound dropped into the six-yard box, centre-back Cornwall was first to react by tapping home.
Martin was handed his first-ever league start by Kevin Sheedy after regular goalkeeper Brian Murphy wasn’t even at the ground.
The manager refused to provide an explanation for the absence afterwards, ditto in the case of another surprise omission, skipper Oscar Brennan.
The armband was instead given to Daryl Murphy on his first start of the season, yet he was upstaged by recently-signed French winger Isaac Tshipamba who curled a sixth-minute shot wide. Waterford then lost former Ireland striker Murphy to injury on 36 minutes.
It was Bohs who showed the more attacking intent in the first half.
Keith Ward tested Martin with a stinging shot he gathered after initially parrying while Georgie Kelly wasted a golden chance on the half-hour by heading straight at the stopper.
Set-piece specialist Wilson was to the fore in Waterford coming close to a European place last season and it was his effort that set 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 fashioned, unsurprising given they played the last 25 minutes a man down due to Tshipamba’s injury. Sheedy had already used up his three substitute intervals.
Jack Moylan should have added a second for the Gypsies on 70 minutes, only to shoot straight at Martin while another sub, Dawson Devoy, was similarly profligate when sent clear in stoppage time.
P Martin; D Power, K Ferguson, C Evans, J Mascoll; I Tshipamba, T Sobolwale, A O’Reilly (K Mashigo 62), J Martin; J Waite (J Stafford 57), D Murphy (P Mustwunguma 36).
J Talbot; R Feely, R Cornwall, J Finnerty, T Wilson; A Coote, K Buckley; L Burt, R Tierney (J Moylan 63), K Ward (D Devoy 63); G Kelly.
Adriano Reale (Kildare)