Derry manager Rory Gallagher admits his side still looked vulnerable at times despite a second successive Division Three victory that maintains promotion hopes against Louth in Celtic Park.
A goal in each half from Shane McGuigan and substitute Niall Loughlin eventually eased the Oak Leafers to victory in a match that saw Derry finish with 14 and Louth 13 after late second bookings for Brendan Rogers and Louth duo Gerard McSorley and James Craven in a match that was never overly physical.
Not for the first time this season, however, Derry failed to take advantage of an excellent start that saw them 1-4 to 0-1 in front only eight minutes in and Gallagher conceded there is still plenty of work to do ahead of next week's trip to leaders, Cork.
"The first condition is to make sure you are not in a position to go down and we are in a strong position now from that point of view, it's good to win," explained the Derry manager.
"The breeze and the pitch weren't great but fair play to the Celtic Park officials and County Board for getting the game on. We were 1-4 to 0-1 up, playing brilliantly and then we mixed the brilliant with the not so good and showed a lack of consistency and a lack of composure, a lot of insecurities, after that.
"Fair play to Louth but we gifted them a goal. We missed chances at the other end and handed them a couple of scorable frees. At half-time, we had played well enough to by winning by six or seven points and all of a sudden you're a point down a few minutes into the second half. A bit of anxiety comes into but I thought we were by far the better team, it was just we allowed Louth into the game."
McGuigan's sixth-minute goal should have been the catalyst for Derry dominance but instead a mix up gifted Declan Byrne a Louth goal that saw them trail by only 1-6 to 1-5 at the break.
Indeed the Leinster men led minutes into the second half but Derry deserved their victory which was sealed by Loughlin's 71st-minute goal, again set up by Niall Toner, as the impressive McGuigan finished with 1-7 to his name.
Derry scorers: S McGuigan (1-7, 4f), N Loughlin (1-0), B Heron (0-2), S Downey (0-1)
Louth scorers: D Byrne (1-2, 2f), R Burns (0-6, 6f), B Duffy (0-1)
DERRY: O Lynch, C McCluskey, B Rogers, C McWilliams, S Downey, P McGrogan, N Keenan, C McKaigue, C McFaul (C McAtamney 73), E Bradley (N Loughlin 44), P Cassidy D Cassidy 61), D Tallon (P Kearney 52), B Heron, S McGuigan, N Toner C Doherty 72).
LOUTH: C Lynch, F Donohoe (D Corcoran 56), D Campbell, J Craven, E Callaghan, B Duffy, J Clutterbuck, C Early (R Holdcroft 66), T Durnin, G Garland (O Murray HT), C Downey (E Duffy 52), C McKeever, R Burns, D Byrne, C Grimes (G McSorley 60).
Referee: Barry Judge (Sligo)