Cork City returned to the top of the table with victory over Bohemians on Friday night but familiar worries over the quality of the performance remain.
City were clear second-best for large portions of the match and were penned into their own half for 35 minutes after Colm Horgan's fortunate tenth-minute opener.
Graham Cummins sealed all three points for John Caulfield's side midway through the second half with a spectacular strike that put a deceptive sheen on the final scoreline.
Dylan Watts – who is quickly turning into one of the league's best midfielders – was imperious for Bohs while Darragh Leahy and Eoghan Stokes were constant sources of danger.
Bohs had Cork chasing shadows with positive and precise one-touch football for the majority of the first half, but they fell behind early on to a fluke from the former Galway United captain Horgan.
The 23-year-old sent in an inswinging cross for Cummins to attack. He missed the ball, but Shane Supple couldn't afford to gamble on that, and he couldn't adjust quickly enough to keep the ball out.
It was all the home side from thereon in, and they responded immediately from the kick-off with a positive period of play that ended in Horgan nodding Keith Buckley's deep cross behind.
Keith Ward hung the resulting corner high up towards the back post and Dan Byrne connected with his head, but he couldn't steer the ball on target.
The Gypsies were gaining the ascendancy in midfield and a well-worked move led to an opening for Watts, but his well-struck shot fizzed inches wide of the base of the post.
A rare break from the visitors, aided by what looked like a clear handball from McNamee, led to a corner that eventually saw the Ramelton man sky his effort. It was City's last chance of the half.
JJ Lunney was looking lively at number 10 for Bohs, and his one-touch, round-the-corner pass nearly found Stokes before Colm McLoughlin snuffed out his clever turn in the box.
A spectacular effort from Ward was bound for the top corner only for McNulty to intervene, before Watts shot wide again and Stokes' volley forced a decent stop from Buckley's cross.
McNulty showed all of his considerable pace to race out of his area and snuff out Watts' through-ball for the speedy Stokes as the traffic continued to travel one way.
The usually outstanding Karl Sheppard's evening was summed up when he tripped over his own feet on the edge of his box and presented Ward with a chance, but he was charitably awarded a free.
A similar pattern continued after the break as Bohs dominated possession, but Cork did at least shore up at the back and prevented the flood of chances the home side produced before the break.
And Bohs were caught upfield early in the half, leaving Cummins in space on the right, and he spun across a ball that Sheppard was inches away from turning home.
More fluid attacking play saw Cornwall and Watts play scintillating passes through midfield towards Grant, but McNulty was lightning quick to snuff out the danger once again.
Kieran Sadlier replaced Sheppard and almost had an immediate impact when he got on the end of a Cummins cross, but he turned the ball back across the face with the goal gaping.
Sadlier was having a general impact in stretching the play, and McNamee was the next to go close as he drilled the ball across the face of goal from the right.
Stokes showed sublime skill to trap a Dan Byrne pass – not the first time he'd done so – but couldn't find a way past the excellent Sean McLoughlin in the Cork defence.
And within seconds Cork were two to the good, Sadlier finding Cummins with a quick throw before the striker rifled the ball into the top corner as he moved top of the goalscoring charts.
Sadlier was wasteful again before Ward chested down a half-cleared ball and volleyed inches wide of the post, but in truth the tie was finished the moment Cummins made it 2-0.
Bohemians: Shane Supple; Keith Buckley, Ian Morris, Rob Cornwall, Darragh Leahy; Dan Byrne, Oscar Brennan, Keith Ward, JJ Lunney (Kevin Devaney 79), Danny Grant (Dinny Corcoran 68), Eoghan Stokes.
Subs not used: Colin McCabe (gk), Dan Casey, Paddy Kirk, Philly Gannon, Rob Manley
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Colm Horgan, Conor McCarthy, Sean McLoughlin, Shane Griffin (Aaron Barry 71); Conor McCormack, Gearóid Morrissey, Jimmy Keohane; Karl Sheppard (Kieran Sadlier 54), Barry McNamee, Graham Cummins (Josh O'Hanlon 66).
Subs not used: Peter Cherrie (gk), Danny Kane, Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Michael Howard.
Booked: Gearóid Morrissey (63).
Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Donegal).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Dylan Watts (Bohemians).