Wayne McIntosh struck four times as Penicuik Athletic maintained their 100 per cent winning record after consigning previously unbeaten Newtongrange Star to a 4-0 defeat in a Midlothian derby.
After a goalless first 36 minutes a quick-fire double from McIntosh put Cuikie in a commanding position at the break in front of a big crowd at Penicuik Park.
McIntosh then completed his hat-trick on 76 minutes before grabbing his fourth with ten minutes remaining.
It leaves Penicuik top of Conference A six points clear of Hill of Beath who have a game in hand. Newtongrange slip to fourth.
It’s been a testing period for Cuikie after the departure of manager Johnny Harvey to Berwick Rangers and the shock exit of three players Craig Hume, Lewis Barr and Andy Forbes last week. However, Kevin Milne’s team shrugged off those setbacks to win in style.
They were dealt another blow in this match when captain Aaron Somerville had to replaced after injuring his ankle following a tackle by Wes Mitchell on 12 minutes.
They responded well, however, after a frantic start, with McIntosh burying his shot from the edge of the area past Star goalkeeper Kieron Renton.
It was 2-0 just three minutes later, with McIntosh initially flicking on for substitute Lumbert Kateleza and feeding Arran Ponton who cut back for McIntosh to slide the ball home.
Star were more competitive after the break but it took them until the 73rd minute to force home keeper Thomas Cordery into his first save, as he tipped over a dipping Steven Thomson effort.
McIntosh netted his fourth hat-trick of the season, lacing the ball into the back of the net from Scott McCrory-Irving’s delightful through ball to put the seal on the game, before he found time for another, bagging his 24th of the season, when he tapped in from two yards out.
Penicuik: Cordery, Caddow, Baptie, Young, Page, Connolly, Somerville, Jones, McIntosh, McCrory-Irving, Ponton.
Newtongrange: Renton, Swaney, Mitchell, Melvin, O’ Hara, Hunter, Porteous, Thomson, Forster, Sclater, Richardson.