Eight-man Derry fall to Doyle double
Sligo Rovers 3Derry City 0
Referee Alan Kelly brandished 12 yellow cards and four reds as Sligo Rovers overcame northwest rivals Derry City at the Showgrounds.
The Candystripes finished the game with eight men as two penalties from Eoin Doyle helped the Bit O'Red get back to winning ways. The opening 10 minutes of the second half were particularly eventful as three players were sent off and Doyle opened the scoring.
Eddie McCallion was first to go after tripping Raffaele Cretaro as he got ready to pull the trigger inside the box.
Doyle hammered the spot-kick home, and Derry were reduced to nine just three minutes later as captain Kevin Deery picked up a second yellow card for a hard tackle on Richie Ryan. Gavin Peers was also yellow-carded for his reaction to the tackle and the centre-back became the third person to see red when he was sent off for dissent four minutes later.
The 10 men of Rovers grabbed their second when substitute David McDaid handled in the area, and Doyle rattled home his second of the day with 10 minutes left.
Rovers substitute Alan Kirby wrapped up the win with a neat finish in the final minutes, but there was still time for Derry's Emmett Friars to pick up his second yellow and the game's fourth red in injury-time.
Rovers boss Paul Cook said: "I thought we were terrific in the first half. We were doing the side of the game which we have not been good at in the last few games, which is winning the ugly ball, being competitive and defending well.
"We have been having a little bit of a hangover from last year, where we think we can just turn up and play football, but it doesn't happen like that.
"Obviously the sendings-off and the penalties are turning points, but I was delighted with our response."
Sligo -- Clarke, Keane, Peers, McGuinness, Davoren, Doyle, Ryan, Ventre (Kirby 63), Cretaro (Greene 69), Ndo, Blinkhorn (Russell 79).
Derry -- Doherty, McCallion, McEleney, Friars, Lafferty, McLaughlin (McDaid h-t), Higgins, Deery, McClean, McEleney (T McBride 53), Zayed (McCrudden 82). Ref -- A Kelly (Cork)