Dundalk boss Ian Foster and his new-look side finally achieved lift-off in their Premier Division season, despite a nervy 3-2 win over Galway United at Oriel Park.
Foster has preached patience to supporters as he attempts to knit his squad ìnto serious challengers and they had to do just that last night, with the Lilywhites having to wait until the 86th minute to finally overcome a stubborn Galway United side.
Shane Guthrie was the hero, popping up to guide home a Ross Gaynor corner just as it looked like both sides would have to make do with a point.
Dundalk went in front after 18 minutes with a stunning strike. Daniel Kearns' direct running caused Galway countless problems in the first-half and Gary Curran became the second player to be cautioned for up-ending the Belfast winger. There looked to be no real danger from the free-kick, but Mark Quigley stepped up to hit a 35-yard bullet to the back of the net.
Dundalk's lead lasted just three minutes. Shaun Kelly, released by the Louth club last season, was fouled by Gaynor and Joseph Yoffe, formerly of FC United of Manchester, beat Paul Murphy from the penalty spot.
The hosts went back in front in the 71st minute when Jason Byrne headed in Simon Madden's cross.
Quigley should have put the game to bed soon after, but he hit the post.
Galway then looked to have earned a point when Sean Kelly guided a delightful effort past Murphy in the 76th minute, before Guthrie had the final say with four minutes to go.