Dave Donnelly reports from Dalymount Park
It’s almost a year to the week since a callow Bohemians side featuring Andy Lyons, Danny Grant and Ryan Graydon stunned St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park.
Striker Ali Reghba, now of Leicester City, announced himself to the league that day with a stunning brace, and the result cost Liam Buckley his job days later.
For a time, it appeared as if Keith Long’s faith in his younger players was set to pay off again as Grant was sprung from the bench before immediately teeing up Ross Tierney for an equaliser.
Lyons and Graydon were once again in situ as eight injuries, including to key players Danny Mandroiu and Keith Buckley, as Long’s hand was weakened ahead of Waterford’s visit.
Like that game in Richmond, the Gypsies conceded an early goal and were grateful for a couple of near misses that would have extended the Blues’ lead.
Luke Wade-Slater had already hit the crossbar from point-blank range when former Saints defender Rory Feely met Georgie Poynton’s corner to break the deadlock.
The right back found himself completely unmarked and, though James Talbot got a firm hand on the goalbound effort, the ball cannoned back in off the luckless Wade-Slater.
Things could have got measurably worse for Bohs seven minutes later as Scott Allardice was caught in possession and Walter Figueira broke free, but his shot rebounded back off the left-hand post.
The home side gradually wrested control of the game but struggled to break down a resolute Blues defence, and both Allardice and Andre Wright saw long-range shots easily saved by Matthew Connor.
Their best chance of the opening period fell to right winger Graydon as he was played in by Wright, but his attempt to pick out the bottom corner was foiled by the foot of Connor.
Allardice, despite his earlier error, was running the show in the middle and he glanced a header just wide on the stroke of half time as Bohs continued to dominate.
And it was Allardice who created a golden opportunity for Wright 11 minutes after the break but Feely did just enough to guide the striker away from the teasing cross.
Danny Grant was introduced for Wade-Slater moments later and he created the leveller within 30 seconds, crossing for Tierney to stab home his second senior goal from close range.
There appeared only one likely winner from there as Bohs continued to press but Wright’s radar was off once more as he glanced Graydon’s cross just past the post.
It would take another substitute to open up the opportunity for the winner, and former Shamrock Rovers striker Michael O’Connor will have taken no little glee in providing the killer pass.
There seemed little danger when the Dundalk man was penned into the touchline by Pender, but a deft backheel found the late-arriving Holland in the box.
The midfielder, a summer recruit from TNS, checked back inside and curled a wonderful shot in off the underside of the bar.
There was time for yet more drama, however, as Bohs keeper Talbot went up for a corner and nodded the ball onto the hand of Kevin Lynch.
The Bohs players protested furiously to Neil Doyle as they felt they had a nailed-on penalty, but the referee took his time before blowing the final whistle.
Bohemians: James Talbot; Derek Pender, Rob Cornwall, James Finnerty, Andy Lyons; Scott Allardice, Ross Tierney, Dawson Devoy; Ryan Graydon (Ryan Swan 84), Luke Wade-Slater (Danny Grant 57), Andre Wright.
Subs not used: Michael Kelly (gk), Aaron Barry, Paddy Kirk, Michael Barker, Katlego Mashigo.
Waterford: Matthew Connor; Rory Feely, Kenny Browne (Shane Duggan 46), Maxi Kouogun, Kevin Lynch; Sam Bone, Georgie Poynton, Tom Holland; Zack Elbouzedi (Cory Galvin 72), Will Fitzgerald (Michael O’Connor 60), Walter Figeuira.
Subs not used: Paul Martin (gk), Rob Slevin, JJ Lunney, Dean O’Halloran.
Booked: Tom Holland (15), Georgie Poynton (43), Walter Figueira (81).
Referee: Neil Doyle.
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Walter Figueira (Waterford).