A brace from Mitch Megginson handed Cove Rangers a well-deserved 2-0 win at Montrose to secure their play-off place.
Megginson took his tally to 14 for the season in the league, finding the net either side of half-time in a game they dominated.
It came on the same night that Partick Thistle secured the League One title and an immediate return to the Championship, following their 5-0 win over Falkirk.
That means if Cove beat Airdrieonians on Saturday, they are guaranteed to finish second and will be at home in the second leg of the play-off semi-final.
Cove made four changes from the 2-2 draw with Partick, with Daniel Higgins, Kieran Ngwenya, Broque Watson and Connor Smith in for Ross Graham, Adam Livingstone, Connor Scully and Rory McAllister.
The two sides met just nine days ago at Links Park, with defeat seeing Cove go into the split third place and face four games in seven days.
After two entertaining draws against Falkirk and the Jags, Cove started brightly and had the first chance after 11 minutes, with Blair Yule glancing a header wide from Smith’s cross.
Patient build-up play from the visitors provided another opening four minutes later, with Smith collecting Ngwenya’s pass and curling an effort just over the crossbar.
Cove had the better of the opening period, with Yule and Mitch Megginson having sights of goal, with Montrose’s first opportunity not coming until the 26th minute.
Graham Webster seized on hesitation in the away defence and was faced by the advancing Stuart McKenzie, however the Montrose man lifted the ball wide.
It was Webster who was set free again before the break, screwing his shot wide, after the hosts had snuffed out a promising break from Watson.
The deadlock was broken a minute before the interval following a sweeping Cove move. Fraser Fyvie fizzed the ball into Leighton McIntosh, whose flick freed Megginson to race in behind and clip beyond Allan Fleming.
44’ | MFC 0-1 #CRFC
— Cove Rangers FC (@CoveRangersFC) April 29, 2021
It was a merited opener for Paul Hartley’s side, who had enjoyed large spells in control of the ball and tested the Montrose defence.
Within seven minutes of the second period the Aberdeen side had extended their advantage.
Smith was able to check back inside from the left flank and deliver an in-swinging cross. It evaded everyone until it reached Megginson at the back post, where he created space for a left-footed shot which evaded Fleming’s grasp.
The game was now Cove’s to lose, as the result also poured cold water on Montrose’s play-off hopes.
They were not fading without a fight though, with Fyvie required to clear a Russell McLean header off the line after he met Lewis Milne’s corner.
By the same token Cove were not sitting on their lead either, with only smart stops from Fleming keeping the deficit at two.
A counter-attack allowed McIntosh to break free and take aim, with Fleming diving low to keep it out. He was then up quickly to block the rebound from Watson, before Cove had a penalty appeal turned down when Sean Dillon followed through and took out Watson.
The lead afforded Hartley the luxury of taking off Megginson, as well as McIntosh and Ngwenya, for the final stages, with McAllister, Seb Ross and Livingstone coming on in their place.
Montrose probed for a consolation goal but were unable to find a way past McKenzie, while McAllister had a lofted effort over the bar late on.
Cove are four points clear of Falkirk and Airdrieonians in second place, with the Bairns dropping down to fourth on goal-difference after their hammering at Firhill.
They are at home to Montrose on Saturday when the Diamonds head to the Balmoral Stadium.