Sligo Rovers 5 Dundalk 0
Freefalling Dundalk finished with nine men as Sligo maintained their title charge with a fifth big league win on the spin before another bumper crowd at the Showgrounds.
Paul Cook’s side are now three points clear at the top from Shamrock Rovers who host Bohemians in the big Dublin derby tomorrow (Wednesday) night. However, the champions have two games in hand.
Dundalk, without a win now in 10 league games, had a disastrous start as they were reduced to 10 men and found themselves a goal behind inside four minutes.
Central defender Dean Bennett was shown a somewhat harsh straight red card for a last man challenge on Matthew Blinkhorn.
And from the resultant free-kick Sligo skipper Richie Ryan compounded Dundalk’s frustration by finding the top corner of Paul Murphy’s net.
A wonderful goal doubled Sligo’s lead on 36 minutes. Substitute John Dillon fed Aaron Greene who flicked the ball through for Joseph Ndo and the former Cameroon international rifled a shot to the net from the edge of the area.
Dillon shot home the third on 62 minutes after Murphy could only parry a shot from John Russell.
Fellow substitute Eoin Doyle then scored with his first touch nine minutes later when Dillon set him up following a fine flowing move.
Johnny Breen turned a cross from Greene into his own net for the fifth on 86 minutes before Dundalk midfielder Greg Bolger was sent off two minutes later for dissent, his second booking.