Cove Rangers manager Paul Hartley praised striker Rory McAllister after his hat-trick helped sink Alloa Athletic on Saturday.
McAllister took his tally to nine for the season with his treble at Recreation Park and is in a rich vein of goalscoring form for Cove.
His first two were predatory finishes from inside the six-yard box and his third wrapped up a polished afternoon’s work for Cove.
Hartley said: “He was brilliant. It was his work-rate also. We’ve said to him that he’s got to keep working hard and doing the right things.
“He’s got to keep playing as long as he can because once you stop playing, that’s your career over. He’s a good goalscorer. That’s what they’re for at the top end of the pitch.”
The 3-1 win sent Cove to the top of the table, ahead of Queen’s Park’s game against Montrose on Sunday.
Hartley said: “That’s where you want to be but we’ll never get carried away. We know how difficult this league is and we’ve got to keep working hard.”
The Cove manager conceded it was an unusual beginning to the game, given Mouhamed Niang’s abrupt sending off after just 25 seconds.
Niang was dismissed quickly by referee Alan Muir for a challenge on Shay Logan, which happened in front of the Cove dugout.
Hartley added: “It was a start we’d not seen in a while, with the sending off after 25 seconds. That changed the game in terms of how they set up and we controlled the game from then on.
“There was a lot of good play. We weren’t too frustrated at half-time; we felt we could move it a bit quicker into the full-back areas and I thought we had a really good reaction to conceding.”