Kirrie Thistle kept their faint hopes of automatic promotion alive as they hammered Arbroath Vics 8-2 on Saturday.
Kirrie’s early pressure resulted in a simple goal in the 10th minute.
Darren Cox flighted over a corner and Bryan Duell rose unchallenged to bullet a header into the back of the net.
It took Vics until the 32nd minute to put together a decent attack when good play from Josh Chalmers in midfield allowed him to send the ball out to Garry Warren, whose cross into the box picked out Ryan Lewis, but his shot was blocked behind for a corner by Jon Snowdon.
Just on half-time, Kirrie doubled their lead.
Scott Drumm sent it long over the half-way line and Duell took full advantage, running on to send it beyond Bob Duncan.
Any chance Vics had of taking something from the match all but disappeared three minutes into the second half when Kirrie scored again.
John Farquharson played the ball up to Darren Scott on the 18 yard line and the number nine nudged it back for Duell to complete his hat-trick.
Vics pulled a goal back in the 55th minute through Marc Walker but Kirrie’s three goal lead was soon intact when they went 4-1 ahead three minutes later through Derek Paterson.
A corner was punched clear by Bob Duncan but fired back in through a ruck of players by Duellto bag his fourth goal of the afternoon.
Then it was six and again it was Darren Cox who sent the cross into the box and this time Darren Scott was given time and space to head in.
Bob Duncan then made a great one handed save to deny Scott Drumm before Duell cracked a shot off the inside of the post.
Vics were all at sea at this point and in the 88th minute conceded a seventh when Stewart Russell tapped in a Darren Scott cut-back from close range.
A minute later, Vics grabbed a goal back.
Abdourahman Njie got free on the right and pulled the ball back for Charlie Wilson whose shot took a big deflection and sent it into the back of the net.
And just seconds from the end, Kirrie grabbed an eighth goal when for the fifth time in the match, Vics failed to deal with a corner and Scott nodded in David Millar’s cross from almost on the line.
Despite winning and moving into second place, Kirrie are unlikely to achieve promotion as a win for Glenrothes in one of their two remaining matches will see the Fife side overtake them for the runners-up spot.