Heerenveen extended their winning sequence at home to eight games after Viktor Elm's second-half strike was enough to see off bottom club FC Volendam.
Swedish midfielder Elm scored the decisive goal with 52 minutes on the clock although the home side's afternoon was soured a little when Danijel Pranjic was shown a second yellow card five minutes from the end.
Despite Pranjic's dismissal Heerenveen held on for a win that moved them back above reigning champions PSV Eindhoven and into fourth place.
Defeat for Volendam ended their six-game unbeaten run as they also missed the chance to climb off the foot of the Eredivisie table.
Elm served notice of his threat in just the third minute when a clever cross from Michal Svec picked him out on the edge of the area. The Swede hit his shot well, but it was too straight and allowed Jeroen Verhoeven to catch.
Volendam have made a good fist of their relegation fight in recent weeks and could have taken the lead after 11 minutes when Gerson Sheotahul controlled and volleyed in one motion only to see his effort come back off the woodwork.
After a subdued period of play Verhoeven kept things level with an excellent diving save to keep out Pranjic's 32nd-minute free-kick, which was heading for the top-right corner, before he was again called on just before half-time to save an Elm header.
There was, however, nothing Verhoeven could do to stop his side from going behind seven minutes after the interval.
A Pranjic cross from the right flank found the Swede who drilled his shot low and into the bottom left-corner from the middle of the penalty area.
Volendam never really threatened an equaliser after that with their best chance arriving with 14 minutes to play when Sheotahul shot over after Gerry Koning had found him with a neat pass.
The only disappointment of the day for the home side came with five minutes to go when Pranjic was cautioned for the second time for shirt pulling.