Ryan Brennan fired St Patrick's Athletic to back-to-back wins in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division when netting the decisive only goal in a win over struggling Limerick FC at the Markets Field.

Brennan turned sharply inside the Limerick penalty area in the 72nd minute, before blasting the ball past former 'Saints' keeper Brendan Clarke in the Limerick goal.

The win has seen the Dubliners make it back-to-back wins in the Premier League, boosting their hopes of securing European football.

Limerick remain deep in relegation trouble although their supporters will take great encouragement from the spirited nature of their display. 

Home side made two changes to the side which lost away to Cork City six days earlier as Killian Brouder and Colm Walsh-O'Loghlen came into the starting line-up for Tony Whitehead and Darren Dennehy.

St Pat's made one change to the starting team from the side which defeated Shamrock Rovers as Killian Brennan, making his first start of the season replaced, Darragh Markey.

Limerick created the first decent opening of the fixture on the eighth minute when captain Shane Duggan created space for himself, but his well struck effort from inside the box was deflected out for a corner.

Four yellow cards were brandished by referee Matthews in as many minutes - three to Limerick players - showed just crucial this fixtures was to both sides.

Jake Keegan had St Pat's best chance just after the half hour mark. However, his well struck dipping effort from 20 yards out flashed just over Brendan Clarke's crossbar.

Limerick captain Shane Duggan saw his 30th minute effort superbly saved by Pat's netminder Barry Murphy.

The game remained scoreless at half-time. However, within two minutes of the restart St Pat's came within a whisker of opening the scoring only for the home side to somehow scramble Kevin Toner's header off the line.

The end-to-end nature of the game continued moments later when Brendan Clarke denied Jake Keegan.

The visitors also came within a whisker after an hour mark, but Conan Byrne's close range effort was blocked inside the penalty area and Ryan Brennan headed the rebound narrowly wide.

Brennan made no mistake in the 73rd minute when he punished some slackness in the Limerick defence to fire the visitors into a 1-0 lead.

The young Limerick side almost equalised within a minute. However, Saints keeper Murphy produced another superb save to keep Karl O'Sullivan's close range effort out.

Time ultimately ran out on Limerick's hopes of grabbing an equaliser as St Pat's made it back-to-back league wins following their victory over Shamrock Rovers.

Limerick FC: Brendan Clarke; Kilian Cantwell, Killian Brouder, Eoin Wearen, Billy Dennehy; Cian Coleman (Mark O'Sullivan 82), Conor Clifford, Colm Walsh-O'Loghlen, (Karl O'Sullivan 58), Shane Duggan; Will Fitzgerald (Daniel Kearns 68), Danny Morrissey.

St Pat's Athletic: Barry Murphy; Simon Madden, Lee Desmond, Kevin Toner, Ian Bermingham; Ryan Brennan, Jamie Lennon; Conan Byrne (Thomas Byrne 89), Killian Brennan (Darragh Markey 65), Dean Clarke; Jake Keegan (Christy Fagan 58).

Referee: Ray Matthews (Westmeath)