Edinburgh South Vics produced a superb display as they thumped Tollcross Thistle 7-2 in a one-sided Premier Division 1 clash at Saughton.
The result maintained Vics’ unbeaten league run and they are now eight points behind leaders Sandys with three games in hand.
Vics’ John Love said: “It was a fantastic team performance from the boys and a great advert for amateur football.
“We can take a lot of positives from this with the amount of chances we created and the goals we took so I think we are certainly in there with a decent shout of the league this year.”
The home side set the tone of the match within the opening minutes, driving forward at pace and looking to find space in behind the Tollcross defence.
A fantastic move involving influential playmaker Ryan Moore was ruthlessly dispatched into the bottom corner by Paul Murray from 12 yards after just five minutes. Moore and Peter Gilhooley carved out Vics’ next opportunity shortly after but Scott Waterson fired over from close range.
However, careless Vics defending allowed Glenn Waddell time to pick his spot and equalise. Vics went back in front almost immediately, with Scott Sutherland scoring after Moore’s curling free kick was tipped onto the crossbar by the stretching left palm of John Nisbet.
Vics had opportunities to stretch their lead further before the half-hour mark but were subsequently punished for failing to capitalise on their dominance when Waddell struck his second of the match from a tight angle to make it 2-2.
Despite hitting back twice, the visitors always looked second fiddle to their opponents, who regained the lead shortly before the break as Sutherland showed great composure to fire into the bottom left corner from inside the area.
Tollcross were dealt a savage blow as they conceded a fourth on the stroke of half-time as Ian Ballantyne’s 20-yard free-kick crashed off the Tollcross wall and the ball ricocheted into the corner of the net. Vics continued to penetrate the Tollcross goal in the second half with Sutherland, Murray and Waterson all coming close to adding to their side’s lead.
Kieran Proven’s strike from an acute angle went narrowly wide for Tollcross before Sutherland completed his hat-trick as his lobbed effort went in just under the bar for 5-2.
Murray then showed great technique to produce a volley which sailed into the far corner for Vics’ sixth of the afternoon.
Tollcross’ misery was compounded when Nisbet raced off his line but failed to connect with the ball allowing substitute Gary Bell the simplest of tasks in knocking the ball into the empty net.
Tollcross manager Alan McKay was far from happy with his side.
He said: “This is the worst result in a long time and hopefully a positive impact will come from the embarrassment of this defeat.
“I have every confidence in my players and we’ll come back.”
Edinburgh South Vics: Graeme Lennie, Ian Ballantyne, Ryan Smithwaite, Robert Nisbet, Alan Baillie, Peter Gilhooley, James Hunter, Ryan Moore, Scott Sutherland, Paul Murray, Scott Waterson, Mark Wilson, Michael Kennedy, Gary Bell, Jamie Watson.
Tollcross Thistle: John Nisbet, Greig Hogarth, Keith Harper, Alan Budge, Martyn Wallace, Callum Roberts, Michael Robertson, Sean Mossman, Kieran Proven, Adam Perry, Glenn Waddell, Robbie Simpson, Jason Bell, Miles Hunter, Sam Phillip, Mark Bissett.