A smash and grab performance by Waterford on Saturday afternoon saw the Blues beat Bohemians 1-0 at the RSC.

Pheonix Patterson's scrambling shot minutes before the half-time whistle was the difference as Waterford moved five points clear of ninth place.

The Gypsies, who made six changes from the team who beat PAOK on Tuesday evening at the Aviva Stadium, were victims of Marc Bircham's resurgent Waterford at the RSC.

Before this game, the Blues had won four in a row in all competitions, a run including victories over Sligo Rovers, Drogehda United, and Athlone Town in the FAI Cup.

The Blues began with a high press which forced the first chance of the game as John Martin won the ball and crossed to Prince Mutswunguma who fired low into the hands of James Talbot.

As Bohemians tried to regroup, Waterford picked their pockets once again, this time it was Mutswunguma who won the ball back.

The striker unselfishly crossed to Martin who was waiting at the far post and he fired a header off the underside of the crossbar. Talbot attempted to catch but it was no good and a swinging clearance from James Finnerty was needed to save the Gypsies.

This moment of brilliance by the defender was nearly undone midway through the half, as he nearly turned in a cross from Martin. The ball instead bobbed out for a corner, and from that Waterford cleared.

Bohemians grew into the game and they began to force real openings in closing minutes of the first half.

Andy Lyons created the best opportunity for the Gypsies, as he dropped a perfect ball into the path of Georgie Kelly, who was in the centre of the box.

Marc Bircham has led Waterford clear of the relegation zone

Cameron Evans sensed the danger and before the prolific striker could get free to shoot, he poked a boot in and won back the ball.

Waterford charged down the pitch from this and were given a corner, which went back out to Junior Quitirna, who curled the ball back into a chaotic penalty area.

It fell to Paterson who had his first shot spectacularly saved Talbot but was on hand to blast the follow-up into the roof of the net.

Bohemians made a double substitution at the start of the season half, with Ross Tierney and Liam Burt getting brought on for Keith Ward and Jamie Mullins, a move which really ignited their attack.

The away team largely commanded the rest of the encounter, but despite half chances for Kelly and Lyons, Murphy was never tested.

Waterford broke through Quitirna and the winger dribbled through the midfield and into the Bohemians box.

Talbot came out to meet him and he danced around to get free before attempting a shot which was blocked by Rory Feely.

Aaron Doran came on for Bohemians and with his first touch created an excellent opening inside the Waterford box, but before he could shoot, he was ruled out for offside.

The closing moments saw a succession of corners, which were easily dealt with by Brian Murphy.

Waterford FC: Brian Murphy; Darragh Power, Cameron Evans, Shane Griffin, Junior Quitirna (Kyle Ferguson 87), John Martin, Niall O'Keeffe, Jack Stafford, Prince Mutswunguma (Greg Halford 70), Phoenix Patterson, Eddie Nolan.

Bohemians: James Talbot, Andy Lyons, Rory Feely, Ali Coote, Keith Ward (Liam Burt 58), Georgie Kelly, Conor Levingston, James Finnerty, Tyreke Wilson, Jamie Mullins (Ross Tierney 58), Dawson Devoy.

Referee: Graham Kelly