Rampant Shamrock Rovers crush ten-man visitors Derry
Shamrock Rovers 4 - 1 Derry City
An early red card for Ryan McBride was the start of a catastrophic night in Tallaght for Derry City, who crashed to their second heavy defeat in four days.
On Friday, they were well beaten by St Patrick's Athletic at the Brandywell and they never stood a chance against Pat Fenlon's star-studded team, after McBride was dismissed on 13 minutes following a high challenge on Patrick Cregg.
At that stage, Derry were already 1-0 down thanks to a goal from Michael Drennan, who tapped the ball in from close range after being set up by the superb Kieran Marty Waters.
It took Shamrock Rovers just four minutes of the second half to double their lead and it again came from Waters, who threaded an incisive through ball in behind Seamus Sharkey to put McCabe through on goal.
One-on-one against Gerard Doherty, Gary McCabe showed tremendous composure as he drew the Derry goalkeeper before bypassing him and stroking the ball into the empty net.
Waters then got the goal he deserved on 55 minutes, as the Derry defence stood off arguably the most dangerous player on the pitch and he simply drove the ball into the corner, left-footed from 25 yards.
It was now damage limitation for Derry and although a fourth Rovers goal was never far away, the manner of it was shocking from the referee's assistant.
On 65 minutes Conor Kenna headed the ball clear from his own half and the Derry defence let it bounce on the through towards their goalkeeper.
Rovers striker Brandon Miele, coming back from the City penalty area, was clearly in an offside position. However, to the disbelief of everyone in Tallaght, the offside flag never came, and Miele took the ball and rolled it past Doherty to make it 4-0.
The Derry City players protested furiously, but there was no changing the official's mind, and the goal stood.
The officials were never far from the spotlight and referee Ray Matthews came to the fore again on 79 minutes when he produced a straight red card for Rovers striker Drennan, who reacted angrily to a challenge from Seanan Clucas.
It was a needless reaction for the Rovers man, but it did nothing to change the complexion of the game.
Derry did get a consolation goal on 85 minutes when Ronan Curtis's cross from the right was volleyed goalwards by Philip Lowry.
The ball ricocheted off a Rovers defender, falling kindly for substitute Ryan Curran, who volleyed it past Craig Hyland and into the net for his third goal of the season.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Hyland, Madden, Kenna (Clancy 73'), Webster, Cregg, McPhail (Brennan 65'), McCabe, Byrne, Waters (McCaffrey 84'), Miele, Drennan.
DERRY CITY: Doherty, Sharkey, Barry, McBride, S McEleney, Daniels (Curtis 74'), McNamee (Curran 84'), Lowry, Jarvis, P McEleney (Morrison 60'), Clucas.
Man of the Match: Kieran Marty Waters
Match rating: 5/10
Referee: Ray Matthews