Sligo Rovers progressed to the Semi-Finals of the EA Sports Cup in style when they thrashed Cup holders Derry City 4-0, courtesy of second half braces from Rafael Cretaro and Danny North.
Sligo Rovers had a chance in the opening minute when Ross Gaynor received the ball from a throw in and laid the ball off to Danny North in the box who tried to curl the ball into the top right corner, but his shot was well wide.
Sligo were forced into a sub after 24 minutes when John Dillon came on for Jason McGuinness after the centre-back appeared to have pulled his hamstring. Stephen McLaughlin spurned a great chance one minute later when he ran into space in the box, but somehow managed to put his shot wide of Gary Rogers’ far post.
Approaching the hour mark the home side forced the first save out of Eugene Ferry after some good work from Rafael Cretaro to get a cross into Iarfhlaith Davoren, but the left-back couldn't steer his header beyond the the 'keeper.
Rovers threatened once again in the 37th minute when Rafael Cretaro and Romauld Boco linked up well to set up a chance for North, but he didn't have enough time to set himself up for a header and the chance went to waste. North came agonisingly close to scoring on the stroke half-time, but a great strike from the edge of the box went just inches over the bar.
Sligo Rovers finally made the most of their dominance in the 50th minute when David Cawley laid a ball off to Danny North who in turn put Cretaro clean through to slot a low ball under Ferry to break the deadlock.
David McDaid came close to making the score level again in the 55th minute when the ball was gifted to him 20 yards from goal, but the former Rovers man shot over the bar.
Ross Gaynor really should have doubled his side's lead when Rafael Cretaro put him through, but he just seemed to run out space and his effort was smothered by Ferry who rushed out to close him down.
Rovers had another chance in the 65th minute when Joseph Ndo spectacularly set up Romauld Boco for a long range volley, and he wasn't very far away with his strike.
Derry looked like they might have found a way back into the game when Rory Patterson scored, but it was ruled out for offside as Rovers got off lucky after a lapse in concentration at the back.
John Dillon and Romauld Boco both went close in quick succession. First Dillon saw a shot parried away before Boco almost caught Ferry out with a lob from all of 40 yards.
Derry's night went from bad to worse when Ryan McBride was sent off after hauling down Cretaro in the box. Danny North stepped up to take it and saw his penalty saved, but he scored from the rebound to double his side's lead.
Rafael Cretaro added to Derry's misery minutes later when he scored his second of the night with a shot from the edge of the box that managed to creep under the keeper. North also added to his tally for the night shortly after that when he latched onto a scuffed Pascal Millien shot to score a real poachers goal.
North looked to have gotten his hat-trick late on when Ferry spilled a shot from Rafael Cretaro, but the striker's shot was ruled out for offside.
Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers; Romauld Boco, Jason McGuinness (John Dillon 24), Gavin Peers, Iarfhlaith Davoren; Rafael Cretaro, David Cawley, Joseph Ndo (Lee Lynch 81), Danny Ventre, Ross Gaynor (Pascal Millien 75); Danny North.
Subs not used: Adam Murphy, Jake Dykes, Marty Owens, Mark McGoldrick.
Bookings: Peers (67).
Derry City: Eugene Ferry; Simon Madden, Stewart Greacen (Ryan McBride 59), Shane McEleney, Dermot McCaffrey; Stephen McLaughlin, Ruaidhri Higgins, Owen Morrison (Ryan Curran 83), Patrick McEleney; Rory Patterson, David McDaid
Subs not used: Eddie McCallion, Michael Barr, Barry McNamee, Tony McNamee.
Bookings: Greacen (56).
Sent Off: T McBride (77).
Referee: Rob Rodgers.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Rafael Cretaro (Sligo Rovers).