Shamrock Rovers have found their goal-scoring touch as they bagged another four goals to demolish 1man Derry in Tallaght.
Adding a well-taken goal to two assists, Marty Waters helped give Rovers a second successive comfortable home win as Derry had captain Ryan McBride sent off after just 13 minutes.
Rovers, whose striker Mikey Drennan was also shown a red card late on, remain unbeaten in the league after 16 games, a point now behind second in the table Cork City and four off leaders Dundalk.
Though Derry started encouragingly, Rovers, buoyed by their big win over Sligo Rovers on Friday, weren’t long in taking a grip on the game and they scored a fine lead goal on 11 minutes.
Right-back Simon Madden put Waters away on the right and the winger skipped to the end line to put over a low cross which gave Drennan a tap in for the easiest of his 10 league strikes this season.
It got worse for Peter Hutton’s Derry two minutes later when McBride thundered into Rovers’ midfielder Patrick Cregg in the middle of the field.
Mullingar referee, Ryan Matthews, eventually showed McBride a straight red card after a bout of shoving and pushing from both sets of players which also resulted in Rovers’ captain Conor Kenna getting a booking.
An uncharacteristic mistaken by Derry keeper Ger Doherty should have seen to Rovers stretching their lead on 16 minutes.
Doherty made a complete hash of a clearance which arrived at Waters. Fortunately for Doherty, Waters poor effort allowed him retrieve the situation with a comfortable save.
With Derry’s ten men stretched, Drennan might have had a first half hat-trick, but for a bad miss and some excellent goalkeeping.
Gary McCabe was involved in both chances, first pulling the ball back for Drennan to blaze over the top.
Then, on 36 minutes, Drennan brought a terrific reaction save from Doherty with a shot on the turn after Gary McCabe picked him out with another cross from the left.
A busy man now, Doherty got down well to save again from McCabe’s shot from distance while Drennan sliced a McCabe free kick into the side-netting as Derry somehow staggered in for the break just the one goal behind.
If Derry were on the ropes going in at half-time, they were floored within four minutes of the restart when McCabe added Rovers’ second goal.
Rovers dominated until the interval, finally all but putting the game beyond Derry four minutes into the second half with a sublime goal from Gary McCabe.
Waters did the initial work with a crossfield run before threading a pass through for the run of McCabe whose quick feet took him around Doherty to slide the ball to the net.
A deserved goal for Waters arrived six minutes later as the winger again cut in from the right and beat Doherty with a low drive to the bottom corner.
Brandon Miele got a somewhat bizarre fourth goal on 65 minutes. Looking well offside from Kenna‘s headed through ball, the attacking midfielder side-footed the ball past Doherty, to leave Derry protesting in vain.
Rovers’ Drennan saw red on 80 minutes for reacting aggressively to a challenge by Seanan Clucas.
Substitute Ryan Curran got Derry’s consolation goal a minute after his 84th minute introduction.
Shamrock Rovers: Hyland; Madden, Kenna (Clancy, 73), Webster, Byrne; Cregg, McPhail (G. Brennan, 66); Waters (McCaffrey, 84), Miele, McCabe; Drennan.
Derry City: Doherty; Sharkey, McBride, S. McEleney, Barry; Clucas, McNamee (Curran, 84), Lowry; Daniels (Curtis, 74), P. McEleney (Morrison, 61), Jarvis.
Ref: Ray Matthews (Westmeath).