THERE was palpable relief among Carlow supporters when Alan Kelly kicked his side into the lead for the first and only time in the 67th minute to claim both points at Dr Cullen Park.
Carlow, shock one-point away winners over Tipperary in their opening league game, were made to work very hard for victory by a composed, competitive London side, who can feel aggrieved at not at least gaining a draw.
Ciaran McCallion's well-taken goal on 22 minutes put the Exiles 1-4 to 0-2 ahead, and they were 1-5 to 0-5 in front at the break.
With the wind at their backs, Carlow improved in the second half, and a flurry of points from Willie Minchin, Kelly and Eoghan Ruth levelled matters by the 47th minute.
London then showed great resilience and hit three unanswered points themselves from Padraig McGoldrick (free), McCallion and Eoin O'Neill (free).
A shock looked on the cards but Carlow, inspired by some penetrating runs from centre-back Derek Hayden, hit back to level through an Eoghan Ruth point on 63 minutes and four minutes later, corner-forward Kelly struck to give his side a decisive lead to maintain Carlow's winning start to the league.
Man of the Match: D Hayden (Carlow)
Scorers – Carlow: D Foley 0-3 (2f), E Ruth, A Kelly, Brian Murphy (2f) 0-2 each, R Walker, Brendan Murphy, W Minchin, D Hayden 0-1 each. London: P McGoldrick 0-5 (3f), C McCallion 1-1, E O'Neill 0-2f, J Monaghan 0-1.
Carlow – T O'Reilly 7; BJ Molloy 6, S Redmond 6, B Kavanagh 6; K Nolan 5, D Hayden 8, T Bolger 6; D Foley 7, Brendan Murphy 7; R Walker 7, P Reid 6, E Ruth 7; Brian Murphy 6, W Minchin 5, A Kelly 6. Subs: S Mernagh 6 for Nolan (h-t), S Murphy 5 for Molloy (54), J Murphy 5 for Minchin (61), C Moran 5 for Reid (inj, 70).
London – E Byrne 6; D McGreevy 7, K Lynham 7, S Curran 6; S Hannon 7, G Carr 7, D Ryan 6; J Monaghan 7, C Doyle 6; G Crowley 6, M Gottsche 7, C McCallion 7; L Colfer 5, P McGoldrick 8, E O'Neill 6. Subs: P Finn 6 for Doyle (inj, 40), C McGee 5 for Crowley (45), K O'Leary 6 for Ryan (49), S Mulligan 6 for Carr (62), P Atkinson 6 for Colfer (64).
Ref – K O'Brien (Tipperary)