Christy Fagan scored twice as St Patrick's Athletic heaped more misery on beleaguered Shelbourne as they beat the managerless Reds 3-0 at Tolka Park this evening.
The win stretches St. Pat's' unbeaten run to ten games and moves them level on points with leaders Sligo Rovers overnight while Shels, who for the sixth time this season had a player sent off, are now five points adrift at the foot of the table.
Striker Fagan scored twice inside six minutes early in the second half to break Shels' brave resistance.
Midfielder Chris Forrester sealed the points with a third goal on 76 minutes. Four minutes later Shels' left-back Jack Memery was shown a red card for a high challenge on Saints' Ger O'Brien.
Derry City stay a point behind St Pat's in third place after Rory Patterson scored twice in a rousing 3-2 win at Drogheda United.
Declan Devine's Candystripes took the lead on 39 minutes through Barry McNamme who capped a fine week on a personal level following his player of the month award and his call-up to the Ireland U-21 squad.
Patterson doubled Derry's lead on 62 minutes with his first of the night.
But Drogheda stormed back to level with a brace of goals from Declan O'Brien on 77 and 79 minutes. Patterson then won it for Derry with his second goal four minutes from time.
Ryan McEvoy scored a last minute equaliser as Bohemians came from behind to further frustrate Shamrock Rovers in a 1-1 draw in the big Dublin derby at Tallaght Stadium.
Ronan Finn put Rovers ahead from a controversially awarded penalty for a hand ball against Bohs' winger Andy Mulligan on 81 minutes.
But with the watch into the first minute of added time, midfielder McEvoy beat Barry Murphy in the Hoops goal with a left foot drive to send the Bohs fans home happy.
Marty Waters scored twice to give second bottom Bray Wanderers a huge lift as they beat Cork City 3-1 at Turner's Cross.
Bray started well with John Mulroy putting them ahead after just three minutes.
Gearoid Morrissey got on the end of an Ian Turner cross to sidefoot home an equaliser for Cork two minutes into the second half.
But Bray remained well in the game and Waters struck for his first of the game to restore their lead on 67 minutes.
The Bray flier then added the clinching third goal a minute into stoppage time at the death to give Bray a five point cushion over bottom side Shelbourne.
Limerick finished with just nine men as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw at UCD.
The Shannonsiders started well with Shane Tracy rifling in his fifth league goal of the season to give them a third minute lead.
UCD keeper Conor O'Donnell made several top saves to keep Limerick out until half-time.
UCD were revitalised in the second half, though, and Robbie Benson blasted them deservedly level on 59 minutes.
Limerick then lost Pat Purcell to injury on 81 minutes after they had used all their substitutes.
Fellow substitute Jeffrey Judge was then sent off right on 90 minutes for squaring up to UCD's Colm Crowe after he'd been fouled.