Cove Rangers boss John Sheran was delighted to “keep the run going” as his side made it 12 out of 12 in the Highland League against 10-man Deveronvale.
The champions and league leaders had it easy at the Balmoral Stadium, putting five past the Banffers after goalkeeper Errol Watson was sent off for a last-man challenge on Mitch Megginson.
Sheran said: “I thought we dominated the game even before the keeper got sent off, and it was a matter of time before we got the goal.
“There was some good play. It was quite a difficult night with the wind, but no real injury issues and a clean sheet so we’re happy.”
Vale tried in vain to limit the damage after Watson’s dismissal, but it was a miserable evening for them.
Sheran added: “I think teams come (to the Balmoral) and sit in anyway.
“We’re used to teams coming and sitting off. It gives us a bit more space which makes a difference.
“It’s easy for players to switch off and drop their level, but I thought we kept going at it.
“There were a couple of wee fortuitous things for a couple of the goals.
“But other than that there was some good play, good movement and we’re happy to keep the run going.”
Sheran’s side’s disappointing Scottish Cup exit to junior outfit Auchinleck Talbot at the weekend was a distant memory from the start against a side who lost 4-0 at home to strugglers Strathspey on Saturday.
Connor Scully should have opened the scoring at the back post on 10 minutes but hit the side netting, while Blair Yule and Megginson both went close with long-range efforts.
The result went from likely to inevitable on 35 minutes.
Cove goalie Stuart McKenzie hoofed a clearance upfield and Megginson dinked it over the onrushing Watson, who took the striker down on the edge of the area and was duly dismissed.
It was less than five minutes before Megginson fired the opener past replacement Grant Pennet.
Connor Scully headed a cross up in the air from close range and, with he and Pennet competing for the second ball, he punched it straight to the Cove player’s feet.
Scully cut it back and it was simple for Megginson to find the corner. Pennet never really settled after this, but he wasn’t helped by his defence.
Moments before half-time, left-back Harry Milne escaped at least three challenges to get past Kyle Willox & Co and finish into the right bottom corner.
The third came after the break when Lewis Dunbar and Pennet got in each other’s way while going for a through ball, giving Megginson an open goal to score into.
It was Cove attack after attack, and on 62 minutes, Daniel Park latched on to a long ball over the top, nicked it away from the keeper and finished at the near post.
With 20 minutes to play, a Vale attack – in hunt of a goal which would have been of little consolation – ended in a disappointing Matthew Wallace blaze.
Substitute Jordon Brown rasped a shot off the near post at the other end.
Cove went nap on 78 minutes. Hamish MacLeod came off the bench and capitalised on a very long spell of pressure with a perfectly placed 25-yard shot into the bottom left corner.