Elgin City 3 Cove Rangers 0 - City see off League 2 leaders
ELGIN City beat League 2 leaders Cove Rangers 3-0 with a performance described by manager Gavin Price as “complete".
The Black and Whites closed the gap on third-placed Cowdenbeath to just two points by recording their third consecutive victory.
A quickfire Kane Hester goal - his 16th of the season - got City off to a perfect start before Stephen Bronsky and Rory MacEwan netted to see off the Aberdonians.
“It was a complete team performance,” said Price. “We got a great shift from everyone and a great result.
“We got off to a good start and deserved to be a couple of goals ahead at half time.
“But we were wondering at half time if we were going to get a Cove onslaught in the second half due to the conditions.
“We knew with the wide players we’ve got that Cove could be susceptible to the counter-attack, and so it proved with the third goal right at the start of the second half.
“We didn’t have to withstand an awful lot of pressure after that, not until the last ten minutes when Thomas (McHale) had to make a couple of very good saves.”
City remain fourth and head to Hampden next weekend to play nearest rivals Queen’s Park, who are just two points behind them with a game in hand.
The one black mark for Elgin was seeing top scorer Shane Sutherland limp off with a hamstring injury, which could keep him out for a few weeks.
Cove also lost their main marksman on Saturday before a ball was kicked, as Mitch Megginson got injured in the warm-up and couldn't play.
Boosted by that absence, City then made a dream start with a goal after two minutes.
Cove centre back Scott Ross misjudged a headed passback and Hester was quickly on to it, racing through before slipping the ball wide of the advancing Stuart McKenzie.
The strong wind saw Elgin hold the ascendency and McKenzie had to deal with a long range strike from Matthew Cooper.
Sutherland then played in Daniel MacKay inside the box but the Caley Thistle loan youngster fired too close to McKenzie.
However on 22 minutes City did get a second goal, with centre back Bronsky sending a superb header into the corner from Conor O’Keefe’s cross from deep on the right.
Sutherland was next to sting the body of McKenzie with a powerful drive, as City couldn’t add to their lead before half time.
But the home side couldn’t have hoped for a better start to the second half against the elements.
Breaking up Cove’s first attack, Elgin worked the ball up to Sutherland who fed MacKay on the right, and his cross held in the air before MacEwan arrived to plant a header past McKenzie for the third home goal.
McHale saved well from Fraser Fyvie, then parried an effort from Cove sub John Robertson.
Sutherland pulled up while trying to run the clock down near the corner flag, and was replaced by the previous week’s goal hero Smart Osadolor.
City refused to give Cove an inch and a combination of determined defending and more good goalkeeping by McHale kept the scoreline at 3-0 until the final whistle.
Elgin: McHale; Cooper, Graham, Bronsky, Macphee; MacKay (Omar 60), Cameron, MacEwan, O’Keefe (Dingwall 77); Hester, Sutherland (Osadolor 82).
Subs: Sopel, Wilson, Spark, Kelly.
Cove: McKenzie; Yule, Ross, Strachan, Milne; Watson, Fyvie (Higgins 84), Scully, Masson; McAllister, Mulligan (Robertson 55).
Subs: Leighton, Redman, Brown, McCafferty.
Referee: Calum Scott