Second-half goals from John Martin and Anthony Wordsworth avenged their FAI Cup semi-final defeat at the same venue on Friday night as Waterford gave their Premier Division survival hopes a massive boost when battling back to beat Bohemians at Dalymount Park.

It's a damaging defeat for Bohs, denting their European qualification hopes via the league, as they blew the chance to move above fourth-placed Derry City, whom they visit on Friday night.

A match their talisman striker Georgie Kelly, who scored his 20 goal of the campaign to put the Gypsies ahead here, looks set to miss after limping off in the second half.

The win sees Waterford edge a point above Finn Harps and out of the relegation play-off place.


With a tough programme of upcoming games, with Derry on Friday and St Patrick's Athletic also away next Monday, Bohemians manager Keith Long rotated his squad with no fewer than seven changes from the side that booked their place in the cup final on Friday.

Three suspensions and striker Prince Mutswunguma out injured meant Waterford were forced into four changes themselves with boss Marc Bircham giving a debut to 20-year-old Bahamas midfielder Ronaldo Romario Green.

Starting at a frantic pace, the game delivered chances at either end inside the opening two minutes.

Bohemians’ probed from the kick-off, Promise Omochere powering forward to put Jamie Mullins in on goal only for the 17-year-old’s touch to desert him.

Blues struck back with new boy Green teeing up a shot from distance that was straight at James Talbot.

Back at the other end Mullins had another sight of goal from Keith Ward’s ball in from the left, his drive headed away by the towering Greg Halford.

Ciaran Kelly’s quick free kick over the top then caught Blues napping. Having timed his run well, Omochere never really got hold of his shot which was wide across goal.

Bohs’ energetic winger continued to cause the visitors problems, his cross picking out Georgie Kelly in the area.

A poor first touch by the goal ace appeared to see the chance all but gone, but Kelly turned adroitly to get the ball onto his left foot and curl his shot narrowly wide.

It wasn’t all one way traffic as Bohemians’ defensive wall stood firm as Junior Quitirna’s free kick clipped the top of it to go out for Blues’ first corner of the game.

Halford was there once again at the other end minutes later to get his body in the way of a Kelly drive from Rory Feely’s quick throw.

Kelly rounded the Blues goalkeeper to score

Continuing to enjoy much more of the ball, Bohemians finally got their reward four minutes before the break from a terrific goal.

Defender James Finnerty fed Dawson Devoy just inside his own half with the under-21 international then getting his head up to play a superb through ball straight down the middle.

Played onside by right-back Darragh Power, Kelly needed little invitation to gallop through, round keeper Paul Martin and slide home his 26th goal in total for the season.

Revitalised on the resumption, Waterford levelled with a fine goal of their own four minutes in, even if there was an element of luck to it.

Halford’s throw was whipped across by Jack Stafford. Wordsworth’s fine header was parried away by Talbot who then also blocked Phoenix Patterson’s follow-up.

John Martin tied things up

But the ball ricocheted off the Blues' winger to fly back across the goal to be bundled over the line by Martin.

Martin's twin brother Paul produced a fine save to thwart Omochere from Kelly’s lay off back at the other end six minutes later as the game really opened up.

Martin blazed over following a promising move for Waterford seconds later before Bohemians were inches from regaining the lead on 62 minutes, Omochere bouncing his header wide after Devoy's clever dribble and cross.

Waterford wouldn’t be so wasteful as they stunned the home crowd to take the lead for what would prove the winner two minutes later.

Quitirna sent Patterson free on the left and his pass picked out the impressive Wordsworth who scored with a composed finish.

Bohemians: James Talbot; Rory Feely, James Finnerty, Ciaran Kelly, Tyreke Wilson; Conor Levingston (Roland Idowu 59), Dawson Devoy; Promise Omochere, Keith Ward (Ali Coote 66), Jamie Mullins (Ross Tierney 59); Georgie Kelly (Cole Kiernan 72).

Waterford: Paul Martin; Darragh Power, Greg Halford, Eddie Nolan (Callum Stringer 80), Jack Stafford; Anthony Wordsworth, Cameron Evans; John Martin, Ronaldo Green (Shane Griffin 65), Phoenix Patterson; Junior Quitirna.

Referee: Rob Hennessy (Clare).