First-half goals from Sean O'Connor and Marty Waters saw Shamrock Rovers cruise to victory over Longford Town at City Calling Stadium.
Hoops boss Pat Fenlon had earlier called on his wingers to contribute more goals to the cause – an area of weakness the past couple of season – and he'll have been pleased to see his front three each register on the scoresheet as the Tallaght club ensured maximum points from their opening two games.
Rovers controlled the game from the first whistle, although it was the home side who manufactured the first clear chance of the game as striker Gary Shaw – playing on the wing as top scorer Davy O'Sullivan was restored to the starting line-up – forced goalkeeper Craig Hyland into a smart stop with his feet.
At the opposite end, Town keeper Paul Hunt showed equally strong reflexes as he denied Danny North from Gary McCabe's deft through ball, though a couple of nervous moments with the boot shortly after – including one attempted clearance that spun back for a corner – put the Town defence on edge.
The opening goal wasn't long in coming, however, as Longford ignored repeated warnings to leave O'Connor unmarked 20 yards out. From Stephen McPhail's disguised pass, the winger had time and space to pick his spot in the corner of the home side's net, though Hunt could and should have done more to repel his long-range effort.
Longford responded strongly, and could have drawn level when captain Mark Salmon steered his free kick on target shortly after, but Hyland – retained ahead of number one Barry Murphy as reward for his match-winning display against Pats last week – palmed his effort away from goal.
Hyland's attempt to gather the loose ball saw Shaw go down in search of a penalty, but referee Padraig Sutton waved play on. The home support protested vociferously, but it looked to be the correct call as the Longford player appeared to manufacture contact before falling to the ground.
Shortly before the break, Rovers capitalised on their dominance and extended the scoreline to two after a wayward pass from McPhail put former Hoop Pat Flynn under pressure. North blocked Flynn's attempted clearance and Waters was allowed to flounce through three tackles and slot the ball neatly past Hunt before making a beeline for the 500+ away support.
Half-time saw Town manager Tony Cousins introduced former Hoops favourite Don Cowan in place of Martin Deady in an attempt to chase the game. The Tallaght native caused Rovers left-back Luke Byrne all manner of problems in the early stages of the second half, but the home side lacked the cutting edge to capitalise on his industry.
Fenlon's side operated in cruise control for much of the second 45, but could easily have added to their tally as North and substitute Mikey Drennan – introduced for O'Connor mid-way through the second half – saw efforts repelled by the indefatigable Hunt.
The Hoops' laxity was almost punished ten minutes from time when O'Sullivan, whose influence had been largely negated by the understated Conor Kenna and Dave Webster, took a long pass neatly on his chest and shot on the turn.
O'Sullivan's technique in the build-up wasn't quite matched by the finish, however. His shot bounced harmlessly wide and, with that, any chance of an unlikely Longford comeback.
Longford Town: Paul Hunt; Jamie Mulhall, Willie Tyrrell (Mark Rossiter 71), Pat Flynn, Conor Powell; Martin Deady (Don Cowan 46), Mark Salmon (Rhys Gorman 84), Stephen Rice, Kevin O’Connor; David O’Sullivan, Gary Shaw.
Subs not Used: Paul Skinner (gk), Martin Deady, Tom Morris, Kaleem Simon, Lorcan Shannon.
Booked: Tyrrell (37), Flynn (45), Rice (50), Powell (68), Mulhall (90).
Shamrock Rovers: Craig Hyland; Simon Madden, Conor Kenna, Dave Webster, Luke Bryne; Kieran 'Marty' Waters, Gary McCabe, Keith Fahey, Stephen McPhail, Sean O'Connor (Michael Drennan 66); Danny North (Ryan Brennan 83).
Subs not used: Barry Murphy, David O’Connor, Brandon Miele, Tim Clancy, Maxime Blanchard.
Booked: David Webster (27), Conor Kenna (35).
Referee: Padraigh Sutton
Attendance: 1,900 (estimate)
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Stephen McPhail (Shamrock Rovers)