Bohemians' dream of a third league title in succession is still very much alive following this hard fought Dublin derby win over St Pat's at Richmond Park.
Raffael Cretaro secured the points on 26 minutes when he was first to react to the rebound after Chris Bennion saved Killian Brennan's penalty.
A crowd of 1,629 for this lunchtime kick off saw Pat's have plenty of opportunities to peg Bohs back, but the Gypsies held on to go top of the table, for a couple of hours at least.
The two sides were overly familiar with each other by now and were meeting for the fifth time in all competitions so far this season. Pat's defeated Bohs 3-1 in Richmond Park in May whilst they played out two 1-1 draws in Dalymount Park.
The sides also met in the Setanta Sports Cup final, also in May, with Bohemians winning 1-0 at Tallaght Stadium.
The Gypsies signalled their intent from the off with Jason Byrne firing over the top after just 14 seconds but things settled down quickly with neither side having the upper hand.
Bohs keeper Barry Murphy showed excellent awareness and agility on 13 minutes to jump highest and punch away Derek Doyle's corner in the packed six yard box.
A minute later Doyle robbed Brennan of possession on the left wing and shot from the edge of the box but sent his effort over the top.
This short spell of Pat's pressure continued on 15 when Ryan Guy managed to squeeze a cross past Conor Powell and into the box but the ball sailed into touch with Vinny Faherty waiting in the six yard box.
Bohs took the lead through Cretaro on 26 minutes. Referee Richie Winter awarded a penalty when Noel Haverty fouled Brennan in the box.
Chris Bennion, making his first appearance in goal for Pat's since he arrived in Inchicore in July, dived to his left and blocked Brennan's effort but the inrushing Cretaro smashed in the rebound.
Poor defending from Conor Kenna on 37 allowed Cretaro take possession on the left of the area. The Sligoman unleashed a terrific shot but his strike cannoned off the crossbar.
The momentum was with Bohs now and they had another chance on 39 minutes but Paul Keegan headed wide from Brennan's corner.
Pats were nearly right back in it eight minutes into the second half when Danny North threaded a low cross to Vinny Faherty but the former Galway United man's shot hit the crossbar. Pat's were enjoying a good spell now and Dave Mulcahy and North had further chances but couldn't find the target.
At the other end, Keegan continued his poor return when meeting corners when he headed wide from Brennan's on 67 minutes.
Bennion made an excellent block from Brennan on 77 after Keegan's corner was knocked out to the Bohs number seven. The ball then spilled to Cretaro who blasted over.
A late flurry of activity saw Keegan give Bohs a scare on 87 when his header to clear from James O'Brien went narrowly over the bar. Then in injury time Murphy got out to block the inrushing Sean Stewart but Ian Bermingham crashed the follow up high and wide.