St Patrick's Athletic manager Liam Buckley said that victory over Derry City last night was a bonus for his side in the Airtricity Premier Division title race.
The Saints emerged from the Brandywell with three points thanks to Killian Brennan's early goal.
It moves Pat's two points clear at the top of the table ahead of Dundalk with seven games to go.
Last year's winners Sligo Rovers were held 1-1 by Drogheda United in Hunky Dorys Park, leaving a challenge unlikely from the Bit o' Red as they fell seven points behind the Inchicore outfit.
Pat's face a trip to Limerick on Saturday while the Lilywhites take on Drogheda United in a Louth derby on Sunday in Oriel Park.
Buckley is trying to bring calmness to his players despite the lead.
He told RTÉ following last night's win: "A draw would have put us top of the table on goal difference. A win is a bonus to us.
"It puts us a couple ahead of Dundalk. There are big matches this weekend and then a league match with Dundalk.
"There is a lot of tough, tough games to come. We're delighted to be in the mix, we're going well.
"It is that old cliché of the next game and see where we go from there."