Sligo Rovers claimed their sixth league win on the trot defeating UCD 3-0 in tonight’s Airtricity League Premier Division clash at the UCD Bowl.
Rovers were far too smart for a gritty, but outclassed UCD side, who fell behind to an Aaron Greene goal after 20 minutes.
The Bit o' Red bagged their second on the hour mark when David Cawley hit the target with an excellent 25-yard blast. Man of the match Greene made it three after 76 minutes with a superb individual goal to seal the deal for Ian Baraclough's talented team.
UCD's disappointing and Sligo's devastating start to the campaign meant that this was a game with significant importance. The early stages showcased Rovers' passing pedigree even though the sandy surface was terrible.
Aaron Greene was operating just behind Anthony Elding and caused UCD plenty of problems early in the game.
A smart fifth-minute move saw David Cawley put Greene away on the left, but Raffaele Cretaro was unable to convert from close range. Lee Lynch and Cawley also enjoyed a lively start in midfield but UCD's attitude and application could not be faulted.
Robbie Creevy was earnest in the centre of the park, while there were glimpses of Gary Burke's ability as he sought to push forward to assist lone frontrunner David McMillan. Greene was unfortunate that a snap-shot from 25 yards drifted narrowly wide as Sligo sought to land the first blow.
And that is exactly what they did in the 27th minute with a smart breakaway goal that owed much to Cretaro's graft and willingness to work.
Cretaro's cross was met by Kieran Djilali and his clever touch allowed Greene to smash a crisp, low drive to the back of the UCD net. On the stroke of half-time UCD custodian Mark McGinley got down to make a reflex save from another Greene attempt as the Bit O'Red went in at the break armed with the 1-0 lead.
Goalkeeper Gary Rogers was finally forced to make a save two minutes after the restart from a McMillan effort. But the visitors weren't too bothered and Sligo added a second goal on the hour mark when Cawley drilled a splendid effort through a cluster of bodies after Greene had a shot blocked in a packed area.
Greene scored again in the 76th minute, fittingly ending a mazy dribble with a goal that thrilled the large travelling support as Sligo maintained their five-point lead at the top of the table.
UCD: McGinley; Matthews, Boyle, O'Connor, Coyne; Clarke, Creevy, Kavanagh, Burke (Langtry, 52), Russell; McMillan (Morrison, 79).
Sligo Rovers: Rogers; Keane, McMillan, Henderson, Gaynor (Davoren, 83); Cretaro, Cawley, Lynch (Connolly, 81), Djilali (Ventre, 73); Greene; Elding.
Referee: D McKeon (Dublin).