The game sprung to life late in the first half with Bray ‘keeper Peter Cherrie making a sublime tip-over save from Christy Fagan’s volley.
Bray then punished a defensive blunder to take the lead a minute before the interval with what proved the game’s only goal, striker Pender pouncing to race through and slip the ball past Brendan Clarke.
Cherrie made two telling second-half saves from Jamie McGrath before St Pat’s were inches from an 88th-minute equaliser.
Hugh Douglas was caught out by McGrath whose lob came down off the underside of the crossbar before the Wanderers defender retrieved the situation when getting back to head off the line.
St Pat’s night ended in farce when Clarke was sent off in stoppage time for pulling down Andrew Lewis, leaving central defender Sean Hoare to go in goal as they’d used all three substitutes.
At the Showgrounds, Sligo Rovers got their first win of the league season with a convincing 3-0 victory over Longford Town who slump back to bottom of the table.
Dave Robertson’s side were ahead on eight minutes with Jordan Richards scoring a first goal for the club when curling his shot to the net from Craig Roddan’s assist.
Sligo remained in command as Liam Martin brought a fine save from Longford ‘keeper Paul Skinner before they went further ahead on 32 minutes.
Veteran winger Raffaele Cretaro cut in from the left to beat Skinner with a low drive from distance.
Four minutes before half-time, Sligo scored again as Longford’s unfortunate 17-year-old left-back Tristan Noack-Hofmann diverted a cross from Roddan into his own net.
Meanwhile, a Markus Gustavsson goal beat 10-man Shelbourne at St. Colman’s Park to move Cobh Ramblers up to second place in the First Division table.
In the key moment of the first half, Shelbourne had defender Alan Kehoe sent off for a second yellow card offence following a trip on Eoin McGreevy in the 42nd minute.
Gustavsson then hit the only goal of the game nine minutes into the second half.
Turning well in the area, the Swedish striker’s shot beat Shelbourne keeper Greg Murray for his second goal of the season.