Ross Allum grabbed a hat-trick as Edinburgh City opened up a six-point lead at the top of the Lowland League with a 5-1 victory over a weakened Preston Athletic.
And Preston’s heavy defeat proved the last straw for boss David Bingham as he quit after two years in charge at the Pemnnypit.
After ten minutes, City were awarded a softish penalty when Allum appeared to be tripped by Bruce. Mark Osborne’s spot-kick sent John Gilbertson the wrong way.
The Capital side doubled their lead three minutes later, Allum chesting down a through ball from Jordan Caddow and blasting it past the Preston keeper. On the half-hour Preston forced a corner on the right. Paul Devlin sent the ball towards the back post and Sean Martin rose to head past Andrew Stobie.
Cairney and City’s Osborne had opportunities, but the City striker made amends on the stroke of half-time. Guthrie won the ball ten yards out before squaring it to Osborne who netted inside the left-hand post.
In 48 minutes Caddow and Guthrie ripped the home defence to feed Allum, but keeper John Gilbertson got down well to block the shot. City went further ahead in 51 minutes when Guthrie’s looping ball into the 18-yard box deflected off Bruce’s chest and Allum reacted instantly to stab the loose ball home from short range.
And one minute later the match was dead as a contest when Allum scored City’s fifth goal, recording his second hat-trick of the season. Chris McKee sent a long ball into the box, Allum flicked it over the advancing Gilbertson and ran past the keeper to shoot into an empty net.
Preston Athletic: Gilbertson, Fergus, O’Hara, Todd, Bruce, Cunningham, Cairney, Osborne, Martin, Devlin, Strachan. Subs: Stewart, Thomson, Foster, Pennycuick.
Edinburgh City: Stobie, Caddow, McConnell, McKee, Paterson, Mbu, McFarland, Osborne, Allum, Guthrie, Gair. Subs: Wishart, Trialist, Pentland, Wilson, Stenhouse, Hamilton, Trialist.