Ajax stays ahead of rivals

Early opener ... Ajax players celebrate Derk Boerrigter's opener (AAP)

Ajax consolidated its position at the top of the Eredivisie table with a convincing 3-1 win over struggler De Graafschap.

Derk Boerrigter scored either side of Christian Eriksen's strike as the host took a dominant lead, with Michael de Leeuw's score on the stroke of half-time scant consolation for the visitor.

The result moves the Amsterdam-based club six points clear of AZ and Feyenoord, who are tied for second place with 58 points.

Roda JC enhanced its prospects of a UEFA Europa League play-off berth as Robbie Wielaert's goal 10 minutes before half-time sealed a 1-0 victory over FC Groningen at Euroborg.

The Kerkrade club inflicted a 10th defeat in 12 games on Groningen, whose own fading hopes of a top-eight finish took another major dent.

Renato Ibarra's goal on the hour mark earned Vitesse Arnhem three points in a 1-0 win against ADO Den Haag to further consolidate its hold on seventh place.

The Ecuadorian midfielder was teed up by Marco van Ginkel for the only goal at the Gelredome.

Frank Demouge scored twice as FC Utrecht came from behind to convincingly beat VVV Venlo 4-2 at Nieuw Galgewaard.

Barry Maguire opened the scoring for the visitor in the ninth minute before Michael Uchebo doubled VVV's advantage.

Davy Bulthuis pulled one back for the home side just before the half-hour mark, with Demouge scoring a goal in each half to put the game out of VVV's reach, before Alexander Gerndt's late strike rubbed salt into the wound.

The result leaves VVV stuck in the relegation zone while Utrecht moved into 11th place and closer to safety.

RKC Waalwijk came from behind to share a 1-1 draw with mid-table rival Heracles Almelo.

Everton missed a first-half penalty for the home side, but it quickly made amends with Lerin Duarte scoring the opener.

RKC replied through Jeff Stans shortly after the interval, the midfielder's first goal for the club.