TWO goals in the space of five second-half minutes finally put this one-sided Premier clash beyond doubt as Sligo Rovers completed a straightforward win over rock-bottom Drogheda at Hunky Dorys Park.
The early exchanges went to form as Sligo created a hatful of chances despite employing Eoin Doyle as a lone striker in front of a five-strong midfield.
Daryl Horgan dragged a shot narrowly wide and Alan Kirby sent a snap shot rising over the bar inside the opening 10 minutes.
Drogheda were indebted to their keeper Stephen Trimble for a brilliant double-save on 13 minutes, diving full-length to his left to keep out Richie Ryan’s flick before stopping Alan Keane’s follow-up.
But Sligo broke the deadlock on 27 minutes when Iarflaith Davoren burst down the left flank before cutting the ball back for Doyle who side-footed home from 10 yards.
The Bit O’Red almost doubled their lead when Keane broke forward from halfway and his cross was half-cleared to Ryan whose goalbound shot was blocked by the boot of Alan McNally.
Straight after half-time, it was skipper Ryan again who was out of luck, cracking a superb shot off the crossbar after being teed up by Keane.
Then Doyle got a lucky break of the ball in the box but fired straight at Trimble, before Sligo freshened things up with the introduction of John Dillon and Joseph Ndo.
The visitors finally made sure of victory on 75 minutes when Dillon rose above defender Philip Hand to head home Davoren’s cross, and the outstanding Ndo started the move that led to Sligo’s third goal on 80, Dillon crossing for Doyle who had an easy finish.
DROGHEDA UNITED: Trimble; Nolan, McNally, Ekanem, Hand; Hanaphy, Gannon, Freeman, Thompson, McNamara; Corcoran. Subs: Gaul for Thompson (61min), C O’Brien for McNamara (81min).
SLIGO ROVERS: Kelly, Keane, Peers, McGuinness, Davoren; Horgan, Russell, Ryan, Kirby, Greene; Doyle. Subs: Dillon for Horgan (63min), Ndo for Greene (67min), Cretaro for Doyle (82min).
Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin).