St Patrick's Athletic advanced their prospects of a top-four finish with a fortuitous win 1-0 over Derry City at Richmond Park. 

A rare goal from Kevin Toner decided matters in a game of two halves; St Pat's had the better of the first and held on despite wobbling in the second. 

The Inchicore side now move to within one point of Derry, who remain in fourth place despite the defeat.

The last time these two sides met in Dublin, the Saints were humbled by a hungrier Derry side, and they were intent on playing much better here, coming off a spirited 1-1 draw against Bohemians on Friday evening.

The home side started with purpose and Simon Madden's cross yielded a header from Gary Shaw that went over the bar.

Shaw was busy in the early stages, forcing a save from Peter Cherrie 13 minutes into the contest.

St Pat's took the lead midway through the first half.

Toner was free at the back post after a Mikey Drennan delivery and he made no mistake.

Derry were incensed that this all transpired while Greg Sloggett was forced off with what was deemed to be a blood injury.

Drennan had a fine first half and combined nicely with Ian Bermingham with 11 minutes left, only to smash his shot over.

The second half was slow to ignite and the spectacle suffered as a result, neither side creating much.

However, Derry started to gain a foothold, and St Pat's began to settle into a position consistent with being in front.

Midway through the half, Derry should have equalised.

A beautiful ball by substitute Barry McNamee put Junior Ogedi-Ozokwe in but his well-aimed strike hit the post.

Gerardo Bruna got some space but drove wide of Brendan Clarke, before the latter flapped moments later at a cross and Ogedi-Ozokwe failed to connect at the back post.

Saints, to their credit, rallied and Madden crossed but Rhys McCabe headed wide. 

Again Derry began to dictate and Ogedi-Ozokwe fired at Clarke with seven minutes left. 

But he wasted a much better chance moments later, heading wide from a Ciaran Coll cross when he should have scored. 

Derry faded out of it thereafter as Harry Kenny's side killed the game to gain three crucial points. 

St Patrick's Athletic: Clarke; Madden, Toner, Webster, Kelly, Bermingham; Markey (Walker 73), Lennon, McCabe; Shaw (Forrester 66), Drennan (Doona 86).

Derry City: Cherrie; McDermott (McDonagh 64), Cole (Kerr 35), Toal, Coll; Delap, Sloggett, Harkin, Bruna, Ogedi-Uzokwe; Parkhouse (McNamee 50).

Referee: Sean Grant.

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