Cove Rangers thrashed Berwick Rangers 4-0 in the first leg of the pyramid play-off final.
The Highland League champions put in a fantastic display in front of 1955 fans at a packed Balmoral Stadium.
The Granite City outfit head for Shielfield Park next Saturday for the return leg with the tie just about in the bag, with promotion to League Two fulfilling Cove’s long held ambition of becoming an SPFL side.
Cove started on the front foot with Mitch Megginson, Sam Burnett and Blair Yule all threatening in the opening 10 minutes.
On the quarter hour Megginson was inches away. Daniel Park’s free-kick on the left was headed down by Scott Ross and Megginson’s effort from close range hit Ryan Goodfellow.
It nearly bobbled under the keeper and into the net, but he managed to grab is just before it crossed the line.
In the 22nd minute Cove took the lead after a bit of penalty box pinball.
A corner broke for Ryan Strachan on the right of the box, his driven cross-cum shot was fumbled by Goodfellow.
As Cove players tried to scramble it in Jordan Orru ‘s attempted clearance bounced off BURNETT and into the net.
Berwick seldom threatened in the first half and seven minutes from half-time Cove doubled their lead.
After a period of possession Darryn Kelly swung In a cross from the right.
Park missed it, but the predator MEGGINSON arrived at the back post to send a diving header into the net from four yards, his 49th of the season.
It could have been 3-0 three minutes into the second half when Kelly slipped Megginson away down the right, but from 12 yards he shot against the crossbar.
The hosts kept pushing for more goals, but they lost Megginson to what looked like a groin injury just after the hour.
With 20 minutes left the woodwork denied Cove again when Connor Scully’s inswinging corner from the right was met by the towering Scott Ross, but his header rattled the bar and was cleared.
Cove’s third eventually arrived in the 79th minute. Connor Scully slipped through Megginson’s replacement Jordan MacRae.
Goodfellow saved the shot, the rebound broke for Jamie Masson on the left, his cross found MacRae, again Goodfellow saved and as Jordon Brown closed in on the rebound Aiden McIlduff ended up putting it into his own net.
Four minutes later the fourth arrived when Masson brilliantly slalomed in from the left and his curling right-footed shot bounced off the right post and in to kill the tie.