Blues on course for Europe, beating Bohs
Sander Puri scored for the third match running as Waterford maintained their push for a European place with victory over a youthful Bohemians in their SSE Airtiricity League Premier Division clash at Dalymount Park.
A third successive win for Alan Reynolds’ Blues moves them level on points with third-placed Shamrock Rovers. It also guarantees Waterford a top four finish.
And Should Bohemians lose their FAI Cup semi-final replay at Cork City on Monday night it would see Blues back in Europe for the first time since 1986.
As expected, with that replay in mind, Bohemians boss Keith Long rested most of his first team.
With nine changes, only Dan Casey and Dan Kelly, both of whom are suspended for Monday’s clash at Turner’s Cross, stayed in the side from Sunday’s drawn first match with the Leesiders.
And it was Long’s youngsters who started confidently, working tenaciously in not allowing the experienced Blues side to settle.
And an incisive passing move from the back brought Bohs the lead with a delightful goal on 15 minutes.
Skipper Dan Byrne collected goalkeeper Colin McCabe’s throw out to find Eoghan Stokes with a 40-yard pass.
Stokes, playing in the hole, spun to pick out Jamie Hamilton with an early diagonal ball.
Hamilton controlled the ball with an assured first touch to whip over an arced cross for Cristian Magerusan to touch home at a stretch for a goal on his full debut.
It was a short-lived lead, however, as Blues were level within four minutes when Dylan Barnett’s cross from the left was touched home by Estonia winger Puri.
Six minutes later Waterford were in front.
Gypsies’ Paddy Kirk’s attempted back pass fell short with the retreating left-back pulling down Puri inside the area as he attempted to make amends.
Kirk was booked before Stanley Aborah calmly sent McCabe the wrong way from the resulting penalty.
A comedy of defensive errors cost Bohs a third goal 10 minutes into the second half. Puri initially partially charged down an attempted clearance by McCabe.
Bohs central defender Casey then inexplicably played the loose ball across his own goal straight to Blues striker Noel Hunt who shot into an empty net off a post.
In full control now, Blues’ Cory Galvin cut in from the left to crack a shot that bounced back out off the underside of the crossbar.
Bohemians: Colin McCabe; Andy Lyons, Dan Casey, Dan Byrne, Paddy Kirk; Oscar Brennan, Robbie McCourt (Rob Cornwall 66); Daniel Kelly (Promise Omochere 62), Eoghan Stokes, Jamie Hamilton; Cristian Magerusan (Danny Grant 73).
Waterford: Niall Corbet; Rory Feely, Kenny Browne, Garry Comerford, Dylan Barnett; Paul Keegan, Stanley Aborah (Gavan Holohan 90+2); Sander Puri, Bastien Hery, Cory Galvin (Courtney Duffus 88); Noel Hunt (Dean O’Halloran, 65).
Referee: Sean Grant (Wexford).