Sean Gannon scored a fortuitous stoppage time winner for Shamrock Rovers to deprive Longford Town of a creditable draw at Tallaght Stadium.
It may have been a below par performance from the champions but the 2-1 win nonetheless puts Stephen Bradley's side top of the the Premier Division table for first time this season - albeit on goals scored. They are in a three-way tie ahead of St Patrick's Athletic and Sligo Rovers.
With the sides having swapped penalties early in each half, Rovers’ late pressure told three minutes into added time.
Dylan Watts’s free kick was half cleared to Gannon whose drive deflected to the net off Longford captain Aodh Dervin.
Striker Aaron Dobbs pounced as Rovers' defender Roberto Lopes dallied to win a seventh minute penalty against the back-tracking Cape Verde international.
Dylan Grimes confidently sent Alan Mannus the wrong way from 12 yards to give Longford the lead.
Rovers’ eighth corner of the night finally brought an equaliser on 54 minutes. Remarkably, it was a reverse of the game’s first penalty incident as Dobbs hauled down Lopes as he darted across the area to meet Graham Burke’s quickly taken corner.
Burked drilled the resulting spot kick down the middle.
Dundalk needed a late equaliser from Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe to ensure a day of turmoil at the Oriel Park club didn't end in defeat on the pitch as they held St Patrick's Athletic to a 1-1 draw.
With team manager Shane Keegan resigning overnight and rumours that coach Filippo Giovangoli would follow suit, Dundalk fell behind on 56 minutes.
Robbie Benson floated over a corner that was headed to the net by defender Sam Bone.
Reinstated home goalkeeper Alessio Abibi prevented St Patrick's from doubling their lead with impressive saves to twice deprive Billy King.
Dundalk played their way back into the game and got a deserved equaliser on 85 minutes when Junior shot through the legs of Vitezslav Jaros.
Sligo Rovers ended Finn Harps' unbeaten start to the season by extending theirs with a 1-0 win at The Showgrounds.
Teenager Johnny Kenny was the local hero with an opportunistic first competitive goal for the club six minutes into the second half.
Having been introduced at the interval, the 17-yer-old striker punished a mistake by Harps’ goalkeeper Mark McGinley to shoot the loose ball to the net.