Sligo Rovers failed to move clear of Shamrock Rovers at the top of the Premier Division after a Chris Lyons double led an impressive Drogheda United to victory at the Showgrounds.

Lyons produced two moments of magic against his old club, who could not capitalise on Shamrock Rovers dropping points against Finn Harps 24 hours earlier.

Shane Blaney's late goal served only as a consolation for the Bit O'Red.

In search of a first win in Sligo since 2014, it was the visitors who bossed a fast-paced opening half, hitting the lead with just nine minutes played.

Rovers skipper Greg Bolger was dispossessed by a determined challenge from Darragh Markey, whose through ball sat up perfectly for Lyons. The ex-Sligo striker neatly lobbed the ball over Rovers goalkeeper Ed McGinty from the edge of the area.

Only beaten once at home prior to this encounter, Liam Buckley’s charges struggled to threaten a well-organised United outfit.

Indeed, a second Drogs goal would not have been undeserved and the Louth side came within inches of doubling their lead on 28 minutes.

Markey and Dane Massey combined to supply Mark Doyle, who saw his improvised effort come back off the outside of the post.

Shane Blaney pulled a goal back for Sligo late on

Full-back Conor Kane flashed an effort wide before the break, while Massey went close to converting a Ronan Murray corner early in the second half as the First Division champions again started the brighter.

Robbie McCourt mustered Sligo’s first shot in anger on 57 minutes when David Odumosu was equal to the full back’s stinging drive. Lewis Banks saw his header come back off the inside of Odumosu’s crossbar moments later as the Connacht men finally showed signs of life.

But another super finish from Lyons pegged Rovers back once more. Markey was again the supplier as Lyons took the ball under his spell before ripping a powerful right-footed effort beyond the helpless McGinty.

Odumosu was again on hand, this time to deny Jordan Gibson’s first-time effort from point-blank range, after a laser-guided ball to the back post from the boot of Greg Bolger.

The dying minutes were not without a few sketchy moments for Drogs who had to scramble to clear their lines after Odumosu had spilled Johnny Kenny’s effort, while Ryan De Vries was denied by a trailing leg on the United goal-line.

Sligo did grab a late consultation in the first minute of added time when Blaney hooked his header over Odumosu’s reach.

Sligo Rovers: Edward McGinty; Lewis Banks, John Mahon, Shane Blaney, Robbie McCourt; Niall Morahan (Johnny Kenny HT), Greg Bolger; Jordan Gibson, Walter Figueira, Mark Byrne (Colm Horgan HT); Ryan De Vries (Cillian Heaney 89).

Drogheda United: David Odumosu; James Brown, Daniel O’Reilly, Dane Massey, Conor Kane; Gary Deegan, Jake Hyland, Ronan Murray (Killian Philips 63); Darragh Markey (James Clarke 79), Chris Lyons (Dinny Corcoran 71), Mark Doyle.

Referee: Rob Hennessy.