By Abhishek Mehrotra
This was the third uniformed derby in nine days, and just like the first two, it was Richard Bok's men who emerged smiling.
Having knocked Lee Lim-saeng's men out of the RHB Singapore Cup a few days ago 5-4 on aggregate, SAFFC inflicted a comprehensive defeat on their opponents this time to move up to fifth, level on points with Balestier Khalsa, in the S.League
Shimpei Sakurada gave his side the lead in the fourth minute with a wonder strike before Fazrul Nawan doubled it two minutes from the break and Aliff Shafaein capped off a perfect day for the Warrirors with his maiden goal for the club in the 66th minute.
Home only had a painful looking injury to captain Shi Jia Yi and a straight red for Franklin Anzite to show for their efforts on an evening that began and ended nightmarishly for them at Jalan Besar.
The Protectors were still missing Lionel Lewis, who twisted his ankle in training a few weeks ago, and would have felt their first choice keeper might have dealt better with Sakurada's shot.
Shi Jia Yi failed to close down the Japanese midfielder at the edge of the area in the fourth minute, and with swathes of space in which to line up the shot, Sakurada let fly with a ferocious strike that skimmed over stand-in keeper Nazri Sabri before slamming into the centre of the net to give his side the perfect start.
It was a brilliant goal, no doubt, but Sabri would have been disappointed not to have tipped it over.
The early shock seemed to jolt Home awake and Jia Yi had the chance to make amends for his part in the Warriors' goal just five minutes later when Frederic Mendy won a corner and John Wilkinson swung in a superb cross at the second time of asking. Jia Yi rose the highest, but then failed to get his header on target.
The Home number seven went close again in the 19th minute, this time with a free-kick from 25 yards out, but although his effort was on target it lacked the venom to test Shahril Jantan.
Firdaus Idros then sneaked in between the SAFFC backline, but failed to make clean contact with Mendy's centre, and Franklin Anzite had an even better chance to restore parity on the half hour mark when a Wilkinson corner found him completely unmarked at the far post, but his mistimed header slammed into the turf before bouncing over.
Things got even worse for Anzite two minutes from the break when he allowed Fazrul to latch on to a Shukor Zailan pass on the left and the striker took full advantage, cutting in before curling a beautiful shot into the far corner to double his side's lead.
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Home coach Lee Lim-saeng took off the ineffective Song Ui-young after the interval, with Anzite pushed forward and substitute Jeremy Chiang plugging the gap in defence, and the move almost paid immediate dividends when the burly 26-year-old won a foul right on the edge of the area within a minute of the restart. He dusted himself off, and took the free-kick himself, but it was a dreadful effort, skewed far and wide of Shahril's goal.
Incredibly, that was to be the last good chance Home would have as the Warriors smoothly moved through the gears with Fazrul, Aliff and Tatsuro Inui rampant.
Fazrul first found Karoglan in the 56th minute with a pin-point pass as SAFFC launched a lightning counter, only for the forward's shot to be deflected a foot past Nazri's right post.
In the build-up to the chance, Jia Yi had been involved in a nasty clash of legs with Shukor and had to be stretchered off, putting paid to whatever slim hopes the Protectors had of launching a comeback.
And the Warriros sealed all three points ten minutes later with Fazrul again the provider, picking out the former Tanjong Pagar man's run down the centre to perfection, and Aliff took full advantage of Kenji Arai hesitancy in making a tackle to slam the ball into the far corner and open his account in a Warriors' jersey.
Inui almost made it four 60 seconds later, but his sweetly struck shot from the right after yet another Fazrul delivery bounced off the crossbar.
Home striker Mendy had been a peripheral figure so far, rendered ineffective by the excellent Marin Vidosevic, and with Jia Yi off the pitch, he became completely isolated as Bok's men looked to turn a thrashing into an embarrassment.
The irrepressible Fazrul almost found Karoglan two yards from goal, only to be denied by Masturi, before Zailan's square ball just evaded the big forward.
Far from looking title contenders, Lim-saeng's men were playing like relegation fodder and their humiliation on the night was complete in the 79th minute when Anzite, who had been having words with Shahril throughout the second-half, responded to a slight shove by head-butting the Warriors' keeper, leaving referee Abdul Malik with no choice but to show him a straight red.
SAFFC upped the ante, and substitute Ruzaini Zainal almost cashed in but was denied by a superb tackle from the back-tracking Mendy when he was about to pull the trigger five yards from goal.
In the end, it didn't matter though - as SAFFC easily played out time to continue their purple patch while leaving the Protectors with plenty to worry about ahead of next week's games against Geylang and Hougang United.
In the other match of the day, Gombak United won 1-0 against Balestier Khalsa courtesy of a 54th-minute goal by Fairoz Hasan. The former Young Lions midfielder had come on as a substitute for K Vikraman in the first half and he managed to sneak into the box and head past Joey Sim early on in the second.
The Bulls striker Julien Durand had a number of chances in the game to compound the misery for Balestier coach Darren Stewart who saw his charges falter towards the end of the game after nearly grabbing the lead at the start.
The win allowed the Bulls to rise to ninth position ahead of their encounter with Tanjong Pagar United. Balestier will play Hougang United in their next fixture on Wednesday hoping to reverse their poor recent form which has seen them win just one from their past six games.
Home United: Nazri Sabri, Kenji Arai, Rosman Sulaiman, Franklin Anzite, John Wilkinson, Firdaus Idros, Masrezwan Masturi, Shi Jia Yi, Song Ui-young, Frederic Mendy, Indra Sahdan
Subs: Jeremy Chiang for Song Ui-young (46'), Rhysh Roshan Rai for Shi Jia Yi (60')
Yellow Card: Rosman Sulaiman (76')
Red Card: Franklin Anzite (79')
SAFFC: Shahril Jantan, Razaleigh Khalik, Marin Vidosevic, Daniel Bennett, Zulfadli Zainal Abidin, Shimpei Sakurada, Tasuro Inui, Shukor Zailan, Aliff Shafaein, Fazrul Nawaz, Mislav Karoglan
Subs: Ruzaini Zainal for Aliff Shafaein (75'), Erwan Gunawan for Fazrul Nawaz (81'), Rezal Hassan for Shahril Jantan (90')
Goals: Shimpei Sakurada (4'), Fazrul Nawaz (43'), Aliff Shafaein (66')