Cove Rangers captain Mitch Megginson is delighted to be “in the history books”.
But he praised his team-mates after they started their League Two season with a 5-0 thumping of Edinburgh City.
The Granite City side were making their SPFL bow after earning promotion through the play-offs.
The visit of Edinburgh had been billed as a meeting of two title challengers, but it was as one-sided a game as the 995 people at the Balmoral Stadium could have witnessed.
Megginson and Harry Milne bagged doubles, before substitute Jordon Brown scored Cove’s fifth. In the midst of all this, Edinburgh lost their heads and had both Liam Henderson and goalkeeper Callum Antell sent off.
Striker Megginson would’ve been most onlookers’ pick to notch Cove’s first Scottish league goal and so it proved when he prodded home after 31 minutes.
The talisman said: “It’s in the history books now so it’s not bad to get your name in there.
“It’s good to get it for myself but the boys put them on a plate.
“You have to be in the right place to put them away but it was a top performance from the boys.
“Most of the family were there so it was good to get it in for them.”
On Cove’s blockbuster start to life in League Two, Megginson – who admitted he expected “more” from the visitors as they failed to cope with Cove’s press, quick passing and movement – added: “It’s a great start to the season – the boys were excellent and dominated from start to finish.
“The result reflected the performance and we were in control of the game. It was a professional performance and a great way to start our League 2 campaign.”
With Aberdeen beginning their Premiership campaign yesterday, Megginson hopes the extra fans who found their way to the Balmoral on Saturday will have been impressed.
He said: “We play good football and will try to win games here and will probably do more than often.
“If they want to see good football then I’m sure they’ll keep coming through the door.”
Boss Paul Hartley opted for Daniel Higgins instead of Ryan Strachan at centre-half for Edinburgh’s visit, while another summer signing, Jamie Redman, also came in for Dan Park. Among those missing for City was former Don Josh Walker.
The great and the good – Joe Harper, Jim Leighton, John Hewitt and more – turned out for Cove’s big day.
Jamie Masson and Chris Antoniazzi both struck wide of Antell’s left post early on, before Megginson opened the scoring. Masson’s free-kick from the left was caught well on the volley by Scott Ross at the back post, but the keeper tipped the cross-goal effort along the bye-line.
Milne was lurking out left to fire back across the six-yard box and Megginson deftly steered the ball in.
It should have been two soon after, when Milne robbed Danny Handling and played a ground missile of a pass through to Megginson, but Antell stood up well and sent the striker’s attempt wide.
However, Megginson had his second with little more than five minutes of the first half left.
Antoniazzi showed good feet in the box to escape the defence before crossing left-footed for the prolific attacker to finish much in the same way as his first.
Before the break it was three. Mark Laird couldn’t handle Dundee United loanee Declan Glass in midfield all afternoon and conceded a free-kick on the left.
Masson delivered dangerously at the back post once more, and Redman headed back across goal, where Milne was waiting to nod in.
Henderson’s dismissal came on 62 minutes for cynically wiping out Glass after he had spun ex-Partick centre-half Conrad Balatoni.
Megginson fluffed his hat-trick lines soon after, taking a heavy touch when sent clean through by Glass.
Cove’s fourth came on 68 minutes. Glass – so good again – looked to have been shoved to the ground by Laird near the penalty spot.
The referee wasn’t interested in awarding a penalty, but it didn’t matter, as the ball fell to Milne to lash home into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
All Edinburgh could do was try to limit the damage and they continued to foul persistently, culminating in Antell leaving his area to poleaxe Megginson.
For his actions, the goalie was also sent off. Megginson, who said he thought such rough treatment had been “left in the Highland League” then departed to a standing ovation.
Substitute Jordon Brown wrapped things up on 87 minutes, heading home after Edinburgh replacement keeper Ryan Adamson had parried fellow sub Dan Park’s cross straight to him.
Cove are back in action away to St Johnstone colts in the Irn-Bru Cup tomorrow.
Megginson said: “Football can’t come quickly enough. It’s better than training anyway.
“It’s a competition we want to do well in so we’ll see how we fare in that.”
TEAMS – Cove Rangers: McKenzie, Yule, Milne, Ross, Higgins, Scully, Antoniazzi, Glass, Megginson, Redman, Masson. Subs: Robertson (for Glass 69), Park (for Antoniazzi 76), Brown (for Megginson 79). Subs not used: Kelly, Redford, Strachan, McCafferty.
Edinburgh City: Antell, McIntyre, Balatoni, Laird, B Henderson, Handling, Sinclair, Crane, Kane, L Henderson, Harris. Subs: Shepherd (for Sinclair 45), Court (for B Henderson 66), Adamson (for Harris 79). Subs not used: Shaw, Smith, Dunn, Watson. Referee: Mike Roncone.