Tollcross Thistle ran out emphatic 7-0 winners in their opening game in LEAFA Division 1 against Cramond FC.
On a blustery afternoon at Saughton, Cramond started well but it was Tollcross who took the lead eight minutes in.
Against the run of play Michael Yuill brought the ball forward before playing a diagonal pass to Martin McCann, who buried a header beyond Cramond keeper Greg Scott.
The attacking intent early on from Tollcross was a sign of things to come and they doubled their advantage a few minutes later.
A free-kick into the box wasn’t dealt with by Cramond and defender Graham Nisbet was there to beat his marker and head in.
Despite the difficult conditions, it was a lively game.
Cramond went close to pulling one back when Darren White created space on the right-hand side. White curled the ball in to James Aris but he couldn’t get a clean shot away and it was easily gathered by Thistle goalkeeper John Nisbet.
Tollcross conceded possession and almost gifted a goal to the away side a matter of seconds later.
Cramond’s Scott Lane sprinted through on goal after intercepting the ball and looked certain to score one on one with the keeper. However, his shot was more or less straight at Nisbet who reacted well.
The remainder of the first half saw Cramond continue to press in search of a goal but to their credit Tollcross played a good pressing game to keep their opposition’s attack at bay.
Just before the break they almost pulled one back. Aris produced a pinpoint corner to pick out Mark Reed but he was unable to direct his header on target.
Half-time gave Cramond a chance to regroup but within five minutes of the second half they found themselves 3-0 down. The ever-present Yuill received the ball on the right hand side before cutting in and lashing a shot at goal.
It was met by a decent save from Scott but he could do nothing to stop the rebound falling to McCann who made no mistake to grab his second of the game.
Tollcross, having bagged a third, were now brimming with confidence and continued to press. In the 60th minute they extended their lead further thanks to Yuill.
Showing pace and trickery on the left wing he got to the edge of the box before drilling a shot on goal which crept into the bottom corner past the outstretched glove of the goalkeeper.
Cramond’s resilience had finally faded and Tollcross took advantage to score their fifth goal of the game. A cross-cum-shot into the six yard box was palmed to Gary White who smashed in from close range.
Tollcross were firmly on top now and showed no signs of letting up with 15 minutes to go. Sub Nick Perry got in on the action to drill a low cross into McCann who bagged his hattrick from inside the area.
Then, to round off an impressive performance, Tollcross scored their seventh. Yuill put the ball in along the floor to McCann who found the net once again from seven yards. Tollcross had been absolutely relentless in attack and worked very hard when they didn’t have the ball.
On the whole, they earnt a comfortable victory against their opponents who, in their defence, were missing a number of key players through suspension.
Tollcross Thistle: John Nisbet, Keith Harper, Greig Hogarth, Graham Nisbet, Faron Gribben, John Lawson, Sean Mossman, Kyle Hay, Martin McCann, Michael Yuill, Gary White, Dave Campbell, John Diver, Jason Bell, Danny Smith, Nick Perry.
Cramond FC: Greg Scott, John McGinn, Marc Milligan, Andrew Campbell, Mark Reed, Craig Webster, Jamie Lipscombe, Darren White, Ryan Stewart, Scott Lane, James Aris, Chris Nolan, Kriss Iyere, Victor Edema, Lewis Smith.