Pete Mahon’s men made it 14 league games without defeat as they beat 10-man Bray at a rain-drenched Richmond Park.
Wanderers had Adam Mitchell sent off for the second time in seven weeks against the Dubliners, having also been dismissed at the Carlisle Grounds in May when the clubs last met.
Pat Devlin was also sent to the stands in stoppage time after the home team had claimed the vital score in controversial circumstances in the 55th minute.
Derek Doyle clipped in a cross from the right flank to the back post. North’s flick saw Matt Gregg make a reaction fingertip save and a goal-line scramble ensued, with Mitchell blocking on the line. However, referee Neil Doyle dismissed the Wanderers defender for apparently using his arm to stop the ball going in.
North then claimed his 11th goal in his last 13 games by sending Gregg the wrong way from the resulting penalty kick. The former Grimsby Town forward almost made it 2-0 within moments of the restart but scuffed wide when close in. Then Gregg tipped over Evan McMillan’s header from Stephen Bradley’s corner. The resulting flag-kick saw Paul Crowley sky over the ball when a rebound fell to him.
As space opened up, Anto Murphy set up substitute David McMillan in the 80th minute only for Gregg to gather at the second attempt.
The visitors rallied late on and almost snatched a draw, Danny O’Connor curling wide in the 89th minute from 16 yards.
ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Rogers; Pender, Evan McMillan, Shortall, Bermingham; Anto Murphy (Stewart 90), Bradley (McFaul 77), Crowley, Derek Doyle; Kavanagh, North (David McMillan 73).
BRAY WANDERERS: Gregg; Shane O’Connor, Prendergast, Mitchell, Kendrick (Houston 84); Daire Doyle (McGuinness 84), Danny O’Connor, Shields, Massey; Mulroy (O‘Neill 84), Conor Murphy.
Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin).