Cove boss John Sheran was quick to note, despite their emphatic win over Spartans, his side are only halfway to the League Two play-off final.
After a nervy start, Sheran’s men grabbed a headed goal through Mitch Megginson just before half-time and proceeded to get three more, via a Paul McManus double and header from skipper Eric Watson, soon after the break to run out 4-0 winners.
The boss said: “When you play a team you’ve not played before, there’s always a period of sussing out, just to see what each other are all about.
“But I thought the guys got better and stronger as the game went on.
“I’m delighted with the performance, but we’re only halfway through.”
He added: “I think there was a bit of nerves on both sides, no doubt about that.
“But the second one just settled everybody down and the third one coming quickly after was good.
“We’re not going to get too carried away. It’s only half-time.”
Sheran set his team out in a 4-4-1-1 formation which matched Spartans’ set-up.
The Edinburgh side were solid enough in the opening period, although they created little compared to Rangers, which was perhaps a product of Dougie Samuel’s men’s desire to defend and keep the semi-final tie alive for the return leg at the Lowland League champions’ Ainslie Park tomorrow.
Given this tactic, Sheran admitted he was surprised at how many Cove scored.
He said: “We expected them to sit, which to be fair away from home you’d do in the first leg.
“We would have done the same probably.
“There were no surprises there, probably the biggest surprise was the scoreline.
“We’re delighted to be in the position we’re in, but we’re a long way from finished yet.”
Sheran also revealed he didn’t go into the first leg with a score in mind which he thought would be enough to seal the tie, but thinks Cove will be quite comfortable on Ainslie Park’s artificial pitch and hopes they’ll play as well as Saturday.
He said: “We didn’t look for anything, we were just looking for a positive result.
“When you’re playing two legs, you just want the first game to be a positive result, particularly at home.
“They’ve got a good record, Spartans, and it’s a tough place to go, so we’ve got to make sure we keep the same level as today.
“We’re quite happy with the astro, we’ve played on it quite a lot this year against Stenhousemuir, Crusaders and Hamilton.
“We’re quite comfortable.”
Spartans boss Dougie Samuel said his side had gone into the first leg with “high expectations” but the 4-0 lead is so comprehensive Sheran may consider resting players for the final with Cowdenbeath.
He added: “We were three minutes away from going in at half-time 0-0 and probably relatively happy.
“Our goalkeeper made a fantastic save and we’ve obviously lost the tie either side of half-time. That’s the disappointing thing.”