Wednesday 21 August 2019

Barker goes from zero to hero

Waterford 1 Bohemians 2

Bohemians goalkeeper James Talbot celebrates. Photo: Sportsfile
Bohemians goalkeeper James Talbot celebrates. Photo: Sportsfile
John Martin of Waterford attempts to evade a tackle from Michael Barker. Photo: Sportsfile
Michael Barker of Bohemians celebrates after scoring his side's second goal. Photo: Sportsfile

Bohemians heaped the misery on Waterford by grabbing a stoppage-time victory at the RSC.

Bohs defender Michael Barker went from zero to hero on a night of high drama. An own goal at each end 15 minutes apart in the first half had put Waterford and Bohs on course for a third draw of the season but, deep into stoppage time, Barker swept a first-time shot from Danny Mandroiu's corner into the bottom corner.

After securing a top-four finish last season on their return to the top-flight, this year has proven far tougher for Waterford. They lost their European place following a complaint by St Patrick's Athletic about their company status and earlier this week lost their main striker.

The return to their parent clubs of loanees Aaron Drinan and Scott Twine was damaging enough before the departure of Izzy Akinade. Confusion surrounds the reasons for his exit but the former Bohs striker didn't waste time in finding a new club. He marked his debut on Thursday for Vietnamese club Ho Chi Minh City with a goal.

On 22 minutes, Danny Mandroiu's twinkle toes hurt the hosts. Some swift footwork fed Conor Levingston who picked out Luke Wade-Slater bombing into the box. His drilled shot beat Matthew Connor but was turned over his own line by the misfortunate Feely.

The Blues drew level on 37 minutes. Rory Feely's teasing cross was meant for Dean Walsh but Barker made a disastrous intervention by steering the ball inside the post.

WATERFORD - M Connor; R Feely, D Delaney, M Kouogun, R Slevin; K Chvedukas (S Griffin 88,); JJ Lunney, B Héry, S Duggan; D Walsh, J Martin (C Galvin 64).

BOHEMIANS - J Talbot; D Pender, M Barker, J Finnerty, P Kirk (D Leahy 84); K Buckley, C Levingston (S Allardice 73); L Wade-Slater, D Mandroiu, K Ward (R Graydon 73); R Swan.

Ref - P McLaughlin (Donegal)

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