A dominant second-half performance spared St Patrick's Athletic's blushes as they overcame an early deficit to beat bottom side Limerick 3-1 at Richmond Park.
Goals from forward trio Chris Forrester, Aaron Greene and Christy Fagan secured all three points for the home side after Dean Clarke had given Limerick a deserved half-time lead.
Saints manager Liam Buckley made two changes to the side that overcame Bohs 3-1 on Tuesday night, with Kenny Browne and, surprisingly, Ian Bermingham the man to make way, with Jason McGuinness and Lee Desmond taking their places in defence.
Limerick boss Martin Russell – who began last season as Buckley's assistant in Inchicore – also made two changes, with youngsters Tony Whitehead and Kieran Hanlon paying the price for last week's loss to Drogheda at the Markets Field opening.
The visitors have struggled to impose their passing game home and away this season, and their best performances have come on the back foot against Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk, but they took control from the very first whistle, and there was barely a minute on the clock when Paul O'Conor struck the first chance of the game wide of Brendan Clarke's post.
The home fans were in full voice from the off – the match was preceded by a march down Emmett Road and a touching pyro-laden minute's applause for a recently-deceased fan – but Limerick continued to dictate the tempo and O'Conor went even closer when he saw another shot whistle millimetres wide.
When the goal did arrive, shortly after the quarter mark, it was no less than Limerick deserved for their positive play, and a classy goal it was too as Sean Russell, playing in a free role behind the striker, did brilliantly down the left and cut the ball back for Dean Clarke, who expertly stabbed home from around the penalty spot.
Limerick taking the lead seemed to wake the Saints up somewhat, and they were almost level five minutes later when Chris Forrester – by far the best player on show – struck from distance. The ball skimmed off the top of Shane Duggan's and smashed off the crossbar with O'Donnell stranded.
Liam Buckley brought on Conor McCormack at half-time to replace Killian Brennan – who had been subdued after picking up an early knock courtesy of Russell – and they gradually worked their way back into the game.
The equalising goal came five minutes into the second period as good work from Greg Bolger saw Forrester free on goal, and he showed his class to round O'Donnell and coolly slotted the ball into the corner of the net.
Moments later, Christy Fagan had all but made it 2-1 when he found himself unmarked at the back post, but O'Donnell somehow managed to spread himself and keep the ball out, and Price got his head on Ger O'Brien's rebound.
Aaron Greene completed the reverse when he noted Jason Hughes had been marked absent wide on the left and drove into the box before fixing an unstoppable shot in the corner. Forrester could have had second before Fagan got in on the act, finishing via an unlucky deflection.
O'Donnell saved at Greene's feet before pulling off another incredible one-handed save from Fagan as the home side threatened to turn defeat into humiliation.
The introduction of Ross Mann for Limerick gave them some presence up front and suggested some fight remained in the Munster side as he twice forced good saves from Clarke, but they could find a way back into the game and the Saints were deserved two-goal winners.
St Patrick's Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O'Brien, Jason McGuinness, Seán Hoare, Lee Desmondd; Greg Bolger, James Chambers (Morgan Langley 77), Chris Forrester (Jamie McGrath 84), Killian Brennan (Conor McCormack 46), Aaron Greene; Christy Fagan.
Subs: Conor O'Malley (gk), Ian Bermingham, Kenny Browne, Ciaran Kilduff.
Booked: Hoare (20).
Limerick: Conor O'Donnell; Jason Hughes (Tony Whitehead 77), Aidan Price, Robbie Williams, Shane Tracey; Paul O'Conor, Shane Duggan, Darragh Rainsford (Vinny Faherty 63), Sean Russell, Ian Turner; Dean Clarke (Ross Mann 84).
Subs: Tommy Holland (gk), Shane Costelloe, Val Feeney, Kieran Hanlon.
Booked: Duggan (56), Mann (89).
Referee: Alan Mario Sant.
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Chris Forrester (St Patrick's Athletic).