Killian Brennan’s early free kick fired St Patrick’s Athletic back to the top of the Airtricity League Premier Division as they beat Derry City 1-0 at the Brandywell.
The Saints are now two points clear of Dundalk with both clubs having played 26 games.
However, Liam Buckley’s men lost substitute Stephen Maher to a knee injury late on in the game, which was held up for almost ten minutes as the midfielder received medical treatment.
Declan Devine made one change to his team, which lost 4-1 at Cork City on Friday night, with Dean Jarvis missing out through injury meaning Barry McNamee had to fill in at left-back.
Buckley's side got off to the best possible start as they broke the deadlock in outstanding fashion after just three minutes.
One-time Brandywell favourite Brennan made no mistake planting his 25-yard free-kick in off Gerard Doherty's right-hand post, after Shane McEleney had upended Shane McFaul just on the edge of the box.
Minutes later the home side had a half opportunity to equalise when Simon Madden's right-wing centre picked out an unmarked Rory Patterson at the back post, but the usually deadly marksman fired well off target.
The Dubliners continued to control things with Conan Byrne and Ger O'Brien down their right side giving young Barry McNamee a torrid time at left-back.
It was that man O'Brien who got in behind McNamee and his low centre found an unmarked Christy Fagan inside the six yard box, but with the goal at his mercy he incredibly missed his kick and Ryan McBride manage to avert the danger.
Paddy Kavanagh had to replace the injured Patrick McEleney on 42 minutes and Derry made another change at the break with Ryan Curran replacing Mark Griffin.
Those two changes certainly injected some life into Declan Devine's side, with Curran impressing, as his work rate up front was causing the visitors back line all sorts of trouble.
But it was Kavanagh who went close to levelling things for Derry, but his well-hit drive from the edge of the box was saved by Clarke, after St Pat's had given the substitute too much time to get his strike away.
Derry City: Doherty, Madden, S McEleney, McBride, McNamee; Higgins, Molloy; P McEleney (Kavanagh 42), McDaid, Griffin (Curran H-T); Patterson.
St Patrick's Athletic: Clarke, O'Brien, Kenna, Browne, Bermingham; Byrne, McFaul (Maher 76 Gannon 89), Bogler, Brennan; Fagan (Flood 68), Kavanagh.
Referee: Tomas Connolly (Dublin)