Sligo Rovers opened up a four-point lead at the top of the Airtricity League Premier Division with a comprehensive 4-1 win over Drogheda United at the Showgrounds.

Goals from Mark Quigley, Seamus Conneely, Romauld Boco and Joseph Ndo gave Rovers the points.

Drogs could only muster a Peter Hynes consolation in the second half.

Sligo were without captain Danny Ventre, who missed out through suspension due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

And top scorer Danny North began his lengthy spell on the treatment table after injuring his cruciate ligament in last week's 1-1 Europa League draw with Spartak Trnava.

Drogheda boss Mick Cooke brought his team west without the services of centre-half Derek Prendergast. Both Ryan and Gavin Brennan returned from bans which saw them sit out last week's 1-0 win over UCD, while recent acquisition John Sullivan took his place on the bench.

The game was only four minutes old when Ndo went close for Sligo from a free-kick at the edge of the area. Ross Gaynor was upended by Conor McMahon and Ndo's resulting set piece sneaked narrowly over Gabriel Sava's crossbar.

Pascal Millien had a chance two minutes later when Boco supplied him with a pass from the left. Millien, who caused Drogs some early problems, beat one defender but could not shrug off the attentions of Alan McNally who forced the Haiti international to mis-kick and fire wide.

Ian Baraclough's men were rewarded for their early pressure on ten minutes when Seamus Conneely found Quigley in space at the edge of the United area.

He unleashed a shot with the instep of his right boot and, even at full stretch, Sava could get nowhere near it as the ball sailed into the corner of the net.

The Louthmen seldom caused the home side problems in the opening exchanges but did have their first sight of goal on 18 minutes when David Cawley got his body in front of Ryan Brennan's goal-bound shot.

The home side carved out two more goal opportunities through Gaynor before Boco's rasping shot three minutes from the break was spilled by Sava at the feet of Conneely who blasted the ball past the former Monaghan 'keeper to double Sligo's lead.

Drogheda had one more sight on goal before the break when Gavin Peers did just enough to deflect Ryan Brennan's shot into the side-netting of Gary Rogers' goal.

The Bit O' Red began the second period as they finished the first, and almost went three goal ahead on the hour mark through Boco, but Sava was equal to his attempt.

It took Drogheda until the 58th minute to threaten the Sligo goal as Declan O'Brien's volley from 20 yards rolled comfortably into Rogers' arms.

Sligo's slick passing game came good yet again on the hour mark when, after some good interplay between Quigley and Ndo resulted with the latter beat two Drogheda defenders, rounding Sava and unselfishly setting up Boco to head home at the back post to give Rovers a three-goal lead.

Despite having a mountain to climb, the visitors showed why they are one of the form teams in the division this year and pulled a goal back through substitute Peter Hynes on 76 minutes. Gavin Brennan's searching ball to the back post evaded several heads before Hynes, who was unmarked headed home to give the away side some hope.

This optimism was short-lived, however, as Ndo reinstated Sligo's three-goal advantage just four minutes later.

Raffaele Cretaro's through ball found the Cameroon international who calmly slotted the ball under Sava.

Drogheda did have a last-minute chance to grab a consolation when Ryan Connolly surrendered possession to Sean Brennan. Brennan's weak shot from eight yards was not enough to trouble the former St Patrick’s Athletic goalkeeper.

Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers; Alan Keane, Gavin Peers, Jason McGuinness, Iarfhlaith Davoren; Romuald Boco, David Cawley, Joseph Ndo, Seamus Conneely, Ross Gaynor; Mark Quigley Pascal Millien.

Subs: Lee Lynch (for Cawley, 84 mins), John Dillon, Raffaele Cretaro (for Millien, 64), Ryan Connolly (for Conneely, 57).

Drogheda United: Gabriel Sava; Philip Hand, Alan McNally, Cathal Brady, Alan Byrne: Ryan Brennan; Gavin Brennan, Paul Crowley, Connor McMahon, Eric Foley; Declan O'Brien.

Subs: John Sullivan (for Foley, 64 mins), Sean Brennan (for Ryan Brennan, h/t), Peter Hynes (for Cathal Brady, h/t).