Bohemians' season was captured in a nutshell at Dalymount Park on Monday night as they controlled the game against Waterford but found themselves on the wrong side of the result.
A fantastic solo goal from former Ireland under-21 striker Courtney Duffus proved the difference as the surprise package of the early season earned another big three points away from home.
Bohemians manager Keith Long was sent off early in the second half after protesting a number of contentious decisions that likely cost his side one, if not three, points.
The home side have played a lot of free-flowing football on this ground in recent weeks without seeing too many of the benefits, and they started on the front foot here.
A sliced clearance from Garry Comerford presented Dinny Corcoran with chance with just over a minute gone.
The striker gets his foot over the ball but couldn't generate the power to trouble the on-loan Waterford goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux.
Dylan Watts shot wide under pressure from Bastien Héry but there were little signs that Waterford's direct approach was going to cause problems for Bohs' backline.
Duffus peeled out the left – as he did time and again during the opening period – and cut inside before letting fly a shot that trickled past Shane Supple's right-hand post.
The Blues moved quickly from back to front once more as they broke from a throw-in in their defensive third and former Bohs favourite Ismahil Akinade forced a low stop from Supple.
So there was little surprise when the same approach led to the opening goal in the 17th minute, and less surprise still about the man who provided it.
A diagonal ball towards Akinade wasn't dealt with by the diminutive Keith Buckley and Duffus surged to the endline before cutting inside two challenges and planting the ball in the net.
There was more than a hint of controversy as it came directly from what should have been a Bohs' throw-in after Darragh Leahy had gotten the crowd to their feet with a positive run from deep.
The Bohs crowd were further incensed moments after kick-off when Dylan Barnett looked to have caught Darragh Leahy with an elbow, but referee Ray Matthews only gve a yellow card.
The home side continued to enjoy the freedom of the park in possession but struggled to break down Waterford, who had chances on the break through Hery and Duffus.
Bohs' best chance before the break fell to Ward after Comerford could only half-clear a cross, but he was quickly crowded out by the committed Blues rearguard.
And they should have extended their lead against the run of play in injury time as Keegan's corner run through to Comerford, but he missed the ball with the goal at his mercy.
Matthews proved an unpopular figure with the home fans all night, all the more so when he opted not to award a penalty when Comerford appeared to chop down Watts as he prepared to shoot.
Long – who had earlier clashed with the officials over the non-award of a throw-in – was sent to the stands for protesting the decision to fourth official Neil Doyle.
Bohs had identified the right-hand side – where Waterford had stationed Derek Daly as an improvised full-back – as their most likely route to goal.
Corcoran found Kevin Devaney on the burst inside from that wing with a ball around the corner. The winger should have scored but he stabbed the ball past the far post.
Devaney's flick-on from Ward's cross nearly presented Corcoran with another chance, but he couldn't control the ball as things jut wouldn't fall the home side's way.
The outstanding Watts showed great vision to clip a reverse pass over the top for Ward, but it was a difficult height for the playmaker and he couldn't turn the ball on goal.
One final chance came their way as Rob Cornwall flicked on Ward's corner, and it was helped on by Dan Casey, but it fell the wrong side of the post as the Gypsies' curse held true.
Bohemians: Shane Supple; Keith Buckley (Ian Morris 90), Dan Casey, Rob Cornwall, Darragh Leahy; Oscar Brennan (Philip Gannon 85), Dylan Watts, Keith Ward; Kevin Devaney (Danny Grant 74), Eoghan Stokes, Dinny Corcoran.
Subs not used: Seán Bohan (gk), Patrick Kirk, JJ Lunney, Rob Manley.
Booked: Oscar Brennan (75).
Waterford: Lawrence Vigouroux; Dylan Barnett, Garry Comerford, Rory Feely, Derek Daly (Sander Puri 74); Paul Keegan, Bastien Hery, Stanley Aborah, Faysel Kasmi (John Martin 81); Ismahil Akinade, Courtney Duffus.
Subs not used: Niall Corbett (gk), Jack Larkin, Dean O'Halloran, Dean Walsh, Daryl Walsh.
Booked: Dylan Barnett (19).
Referee: Ray Matthews.
Attendance: 1,540 (official).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Faysel Kasmi (Waterford).