Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale began the defence of their East of Scotland League title with an emphatic 6-0 win over rivals Tynecastle at Saughton Enclosure.
Tynecastle were looking to pick up from where they left off following a 3-0 win over Eyemouth United in the Image Printers Cup in midweek and Scott Coleman went close for Steve Vinter’s side after just five minutes with a curling effort that went wide.
But it was Lothian who opened the scoring through Willis Hare on ten minutes when he angled a low shot into the bottom corner for his first goal of the season.
Fifteen minutes later, former St Johnstone under-20 player Scott Taylor McKenzie doubled the advantage from inside the area after a back heel from Scott Moffat from a Hare cross.
Tynecastle missed a glorious opportunity just before half-time when Coleman struck the post following neat interplay between Robbie McIntyre and Dean Crabbe, but Hutchie struck a third when captain Grant Munro’s flick from a Taylor McKenzie corner deflected off Darren Smith and into the net. Smith scored his second of the afternoon on 55 minutes with a curling free-kick before captain Munro headed in the fourth five minutes later.
Tynecastle were shell-shocked although they still continued to push forward, but their misery was compounded in stoppage time when goalkeeper Sean Diamond was ordered off following a last-man challenge on Scott Gormley. who calmly stroked home the penalty.
Lothian boss Raymond Carr was pleased with his team’s display, hailing a commanding defensive display from Dylan Moore and Munro.
He said: “We managed to nullify the threat of Scott Coleman and Robbie McIntyre because Tynecastle do have players in their team that can hurt you.
“Both Dylan and Grant were excellent at the back. Darren Smith took his free-kick well and, once we got into our stride, we played some excellent free-flowing football.”
Carr also urged caution following the convincing victory.
“It’s a long season and we can’t get too excited about one game. One or two of the players know they can improve on certain things and I’m sure they will.”
Tynecastle boss Steve Vinter promised changes ahead of Friday night’s league game with Spartans EOS at Saughton.
“We didn’t play to our potential and it’s not nice to lose to your rivals in the manner in which we did,” he said. “This has brought us back down to earth following our three cup wins and it’s just a case of getting them back on the training ground as soon as possible.”