Substitute Josh O’Hanlon scored with his first touch to prove St Patrick’s Athletic’s saviour with a dramatic winner against 10-man Shamrock Rovers just seconds after his introduction at Richmond Park.

Striker O’Hanlon's first goal for the club brought a first victory of the season for Liam Buckley’s side to lift them off the foot of the SSE Airtircity League Premier Division table.

A riveting Dublin derby saw Rovers take a deserved early lead through Gary Shaw.

But the game turned with the sending off of Rovers’ Sean Heaney just past the half hour mark.

St Pat’s dominated thereafter with Kurtis Byrne equalising just before the hour before fellow substitute O’Hanlon won it with a thumping header.

With Derry City manager Kenny Shiels in attendance, a minute's applause was observed before kick-off in memory of Candystripes’ captain Ryan McBride.

A clumsy challenge by St Pat’s Graham Kelly on Graham Burke afforded Rovers the first chance on goal with Burke’s resulting free kick dipping just over Conor O’Malley’s crossbar.

St Pat’s responded within a minute. Skipper Ian Bermingham got away on the overlap down the left, but his deep cross had too much on it for Conan Byrne who, stretching, ballooned his effort way over the top.

Rovers were bossing the early exchanges, though, as St Pat’s right-back Michael Barker had to get his body in the way to deflect a James Doona shot out for a corner.

The visitors’ early pressure then told on 13 minute when they deservedly took the lead.

Left-back Heaney’s cracking drive from distance was parried away by O’Malley. Doona was first onto the loose ball to cross low to give Shaw a simple tap-in for his third goal of the season.

Byrne sliced wide for St Pat’s following a fine diagonal ball form JJ Lunney as the home side worked to get into the game.

But further frantic defending at the other end was soon needed to snuff out a Rovers attack as Patrick Cregg bravely blocked a stinging volley from Hoops skipper Ronan Finn after O’Malley had rushed out of his goal.

There was plenty of bite in the game with St Pat’s’ Gavin Peers and Graham Kelly booked before Rovers’ Heaney also shipped a yellow card on the half hour mark. Four minutes later the Hoops defender was sent off for a second offence after a foul on Byrne on the stand side touchline.

That changed the dynamic of the game, giving St Pat’s the impetus to press for an equaliser before half-time.

And but for the save of the game it would have arrived  three minutes before the interval; Rovers keeper Tomer Chencinski diving full length to his left to push away Byrne’s powerfully hit free kick.

The one-way traffic continued into the second half as Rovers sat in to defend their lead.

The hardworking Byrne cut in from the right to work Chencinski again with a left-foot shot from distance on 53 minutes.

The introduction of their second Byrne, Kurtis, worked the oracle for St Pat’s as they equalised on 59 minutes.

The impressive Lunney’s ball in from the right was hooked home by the substitute with an instinctive volley from close range.

Fellow substitute O’Hanlon then won it for St Pat’s on 76 minutes. 

On the pitch less than a minute, the big striker met Conan Byrne’s corner from the right to head home off the underside of the crossbar.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Conor O’Malley; Michael Barker, Gavin Peers, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham; Graham Kelly (Kurtis Byrne 56), Patrick Cregg, JJ Lunney (Darragh Markey 71); Conan Byrne, Christy Fagan (Josh O’Hanlon 75), Alex O’Hanlon.

Shamrock Rovers: Tomer Chencinski; Simon Madden, David Webster, Danny Devine, Sean Heaney; Roberto Lopes; Darren Meenan (Sam Bone at half-time), Ronan Finn, Graham Burke, James Doona (David McAllister 38); Gary Shaw (Sean Boyd 67).

Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Donegal).