A STUNNING six goal display against Montrose took Elgin City back above Rangers into second place in Division 3.
Stuart Leslie scored his first senior hat-trick as the Moray men crushed their opponents with a powerful display to earn a 6-1 win.
Leslie praised the support given to him by strike partner Craig Gunn, who surprisingly didn’t make the scoresheet in the romp.
“Normally I’m doing it for him and he’s getting the goals but he’ll get his rewards in the weeks ahead,” Stuart said. “If it wasn’t for him and the work rate of the boys today I wouldn’t have got my three goals.
“It’s a great high for me, my first hat-trick for the club and I hope there’s more to follow.”
There was another first for the Black and Whites, as teenage sub Adam MacLeod scored on his debut to wrap up the scoring only moments after coming on the park.
A Daniel Moore goal direct from a corner and a terrific Mark Nicolson blast completed a great day for Elgin and gave manager Ross Jack plenty to smile about.
“We talked about getting a response from the poor second half performance against St Cuthberts and that more than made up for it,” Ross said. “I’m absolutely delighted with everyone’s attitude today, and the number of chances we created and took.
“Six goals is pleasing but it could have been more. I couldn’t fault any one of them out there. From the goalkeeper to the subs who came on, it was faultless.
The result gave City a big boost ahead of Wednesday night’s visit to Clyde, a match which would see them go top if they win.
Saturday’s success took City above Rangers into second spot with the Ibrox side not playing.
And leaders Queen’s Park dropped two points when they drew 2-2 with Elgin’s opponents next Saturday, Annan Athletic.
Leslie blasted home from a Moore corner to open his account on 22 minutes and Moore himself netted the second when his right wing corner curled straight in.
A Brian Cameron cut-back set up Leslie for another on the stroke of half time, before the visitors pulled one back from a David Gray penalty on 57 minutes.
Nicolson’s sublime left foot curler into the top corner made it 4-1, and Leslie met a Moore cross on 70 minutes to complete his treble before MacLeod completed the rout ten minutes later.
Gunn and Leslie both had goals disallowed as City swamped the Montrose goal with their most impressive performance of the season so far.
Elgin: Gibson, Niven (McLean 79), McMullan, Crighton, Duff, Beveridge, Gunn, Cameron (MacLeod 76), Leslie (Millar 76), Nicolson, Moore. Subs: Forbes, Black.