The immaculate boot of Greg Bolger set St Patrick's Athletic on their way to a comfortable 2-0 victory over hard-working Derry City at Richmond Park.
Bolger's stunning 40-yard chip shortly before half time lit up a slow-paced game that featured little quality or invention at either end of the pitch.
Debutant Morgan Langley – a recent signing from US side Harrisburg City Islanders – secured all three points for the Saints when he bundled home a Conan Byrne free kick eight minutes from time.
Pats manager Liam Buckley had to line-up Conor McCormack, who had been filling in for injured captain Ger O'Brien at right-back, and Killian Brennan as they served suspensions for their sendings-off that day.
It meant a re-jig for Buckley's side as James Chambers, a central midfielder, was drafted in at right-back and Aaron Greene partnered Greg Bolger and Chris Forrester in the centre of the park.
Derry City boss Peter Hutton was forced to make three chages from the side that drew in Sligo on Saturday evening, with Dean Jarvis, Shaun Kelly and Mark Timlin all unavailable through injury, leading to starts for young defender Seamus Sharkey, Anthony Elding and fit-again Ryan McBride.
The away side began the first half the stronger, forcing two corners in the opening two minutes, as Patrick McEleney looked particularly lively in the attacking midfield role.
Pats were looking strong on the counter, however, and Derry had captain Ryan McBride to thank as he snuffed out Fagan's pass to Kilduff with the goal at the striker's mercy.
Chambers had taken quickly to his role as auxiliary full-back, and he was at the centre of much of Pats' positive play going forward.
It was his cross on the overlap that saw Aaron Greene steer just wide on the 10-minute mark and he cut inside shortly afterwards following more good interplay between himself and winger Conan Byrne, only to see his powerful left-footed strike bounce just the wrong side of the post.
While the home side were content to sit back and rely on their threat on the counter, the visitors were happy to keep control of the football, with the midfield trio of Shaun Houston, Barry McNamee and Patrick McEleney linking well but lacking the final pass to make it count.
Pats pressed high up the pitch with some precision and intensity, meaning Derry found it difficult to build from the back, and the Candystripes were lucky to escape when Chris Forrester dispossessed McNamee in the attacking third but, after linking up with Fagan, there was nobody there to finish as his low pass fizzed across the goalmouth.
The turning point came when McBride played a loose pass out of defence straight to Greg Bolger. The midfielder waved away the support of teammate Greene and launched a superbly-weighted shot from the edge of the centre circle that looped over the retreating Doherty and into the net.
It was a costly mistake for Derry but doubly costly for Doherty, whose attempts to retrieve the situation saw him crash into the advertising hoardings behind the net and five minutes passed before he was even able to regain his feet.
Peter Hutton and Doherty himself were reluctant to see sub goalkeeper Shaun Patton enter – to the point where he barely had time to warm up when he was was called for – but Doherty was eventually forced to leave following seven minutes of treatment.
When the game resumed, with one minute of normal time remaining, the momentum behind Pats had dissipated somewhat and it was Derry who finished the half the stronger, forcing two injury time corners from which they tested young Saints goalkeeper Conor O'Malley's nerve under the high ball.
Pats emerged from the tunnel at half time minus a golden boot winner. A first-half knock for Christy Fagan led to Hawaiian Morgan Langley's first taste of League of Ireland action. It wasn't an entirely happy one, as he was meekly bundled to the ground by Houston's fair shoulder.
While physically relatively callow, the American showed well and he was more involved than Ciaran Kilduff – who moved up front in Fagan's stead – had been before the break, and he'll have happy memories of his first game at Richmond Park.
After a weary McBride lazily body-checked Forrester on the right hand side of the box, Patton failed to deal with Byrne's in-swinging cross and Langley was on hand to make it 2-0 and two home wins from two for Liam Buckley's side.
The extension of the deficit briefly shunted Derry back to life, and substitute Joshua Daniels' delicate pirouette and shot on the turn deserved a better finish than the youngster managed.
Patrick McEleney flashed a free-kick narrowly wide in the dying minutes, but the Candystripes appeared incapable of scoring one goal, let alone two, and Peter Hutton will return to Derry wishing his paper-thin squad had half the depth that Buckley's does.
St Patrick's Athletic: Conor O'Malley; James Chambers, Sean Hoare, Kenny Browne, Ian Bermingham; Conan Byrne, Chris Forrester, Greg Bolger, Aaron Greene; Ciaran Kilduff; Chris Fagan (Morgan Langley 46).
Subs not used: Pat Jennings (gk), Cyril Guedje, Jack Bayly, Darragh Markey, Sam Verdon.
Bookings: Chambers (40+2), Forrester (90+3).
Derry City: Ger Doherty (Shaun Pattton 43); Seamus Sharkey, Aaron Barry, Ryan McBride, Shane McEleney; Barry McNamee, Sean Houston (Joshua Daniels 67), Seanan Clucas, Philip Lowry, Patrick McEleney; Anthony Elding (Cillian Morrison 76).
Subs not used: Patrick McClean, Ciaran Harkin, Ronan Curtis, Ryan Curran.
Bookings: McBride (81), Morrision (90), Clucas (90+1).
Referee: Anthony Buttimer.
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: James Chambers (St Patrick's Ath)