St Patrick’s Athletic leapfrogged Derry City into fourth place in the table as they twice came from behind to earn a fourth successive win following a madcap SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash at Richmond Park.
The result saw Derry’s slide continue as they’ve now taken just one point from their last four games.
Playing with the confidence of a side in form, St Pat’s began impressively, creating a couple of chances inside the opening two minutes.
Derry’s Gavin Peers had to a make a crucial block tackle on Jake Keegan who got in behind from Simon Madden’s ball down the right.
From Conan Byrne’s resulting corner, Lee Desmond powered a header over the top.
But a blunder by Saints’ keeper Barry Murphy gifted Derry the lead on six minutes.
Murphy’s pass out fell short. Aaron McEneff pounced to steal the ball and set up Rory Patterson for a simple tap in.
In a thrilling start, Saints were level within a minute.
This team is building into something special! A stunning display by the lads ends in a 5-2 win over Derry City. That’s 4 wins in a row and we’re into 4th place— St Patrick's Athletic FC (@stpatsfc) May 18, 2018
Conan Byrne burst clear down the right flank to cross for Keegan, controversially deprived a goal in a 2-1 defeat at the Brandywell in March, to side-foot into the far corner for his fifth league goal of the campaign.
But yet again, dubious defending cost St Pat’s a second goal on 17 minutes.
Defender Darren Cole wasn’t tracked as he galloped forward to play a one-two with Nicky Low.
Cole's low drive then took a deflection to arrow in to the bottom right-hand corner of the net with Murphy rooted to the spot.
Happier at the other end of the pitch, Saints' Conan Byrne drove a free kick over the top before crossing for Thomas Byrne to plant a back post header straight at Derry keeper Ger Doherty.
Thomas Byrne then pulled back an Ian Bermingham diagonal ball to set up Darragh Markey who skied his shot over the bar when he should have hit the target.
In open end to end play, Murphy redeemed himself for his earlier mistake when saving bravely at the feet of McEneff while Jack Doyle’s follow-up was cleared for a corner.
In an action packed finish to the half, St Pat’s turned the game on its head.
First Derry’s Rory Hale headed Madden’s 42nd minute cross onto his own crossbar.
When the ball dropped, skipper Doherty recklessly pushed over Ryan Brennan to concede a penalty.
Conan Byrne sent Doherty the wrong way from the spot to equalise.
St Pat’s then took the lead right on 45 minutes, defender Kevin Toner rising majestically to score with a bullet header from Conan Byrne’s corner.
And it got better for the home side into the second half.
Toner burst forward from the back to find Thomas Byrne who skilfully cut inside Eoin Toal before rifling to the net to make it 4-2 on 54 minutes.
Darragh Markey showed delightful feet to add the gloss on 90 minutes with a rising shot.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Barry Murphy; Simon Madden, Kevin Toner, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham; Jamie Lennon; Conan Byrne, Ryan Brennan, Darragh Markey, Thomas Byrne (Christy Fagan 73); Jake Keegan.
Derry City: Ger Doherty; Darren Cole, Gavin Peers (Jamie McDonagh 62), Eoin Toal; Conor McDermott, Aaron McEneff, Rory Hale, Nicky Low, Jack Doyle; Rory Patterson (Ben Doherty 70), Ronan Hale (Ronan Curtis 60).
Referee: Ben Connolly (Dublin)