NICKY Clark grabbed four as the Pars hit Elgin City for six as they stormed through their first competitive fixture of the season in the Betfred Cup.

After a goal shy pre-season, failing to find the net was not an option for the Pars against the northerly opposition.

Thankfully for Allan Johnston, his side ran riot in the first half with four strikes that were finished off by youngster Callum Smith in the second.

Johnston handed a debut to Declan McManus, with fellow new signing Jean Yves M’Voto starting from the bench.

Happy to recycle possession before switching to the flanks, the hosts were patient in forming an opening as the visitors defended deep in their own half.

It would be a carless tackle from Daryl McHardy that cost Jim Weir’s side dear on 10 minutes, however.

Joe Cardle was felled 30 yards out and from the resulting free-kick the Pars took the lead.

Kallum Higginbotham’s delivery was met by the head of Nicky CLARK who put the ball past a despairing Marc Waters.

It was another cross into the box, this time from open play that resulted in a second for CLARK.

Ryan Williamson bested his man down the right-flank and for the second time in the space of ten minutes, Clark lost his marker to bullet past the keeper.

Clark would then turn provider in the 32nd minute when he broke Elgin’s offside trap.

He sent a low ball across goal for the stretching McManus who was equally matched by the Elgin defender. Unfortunately for Elgin the ball ricocheted into the path of Michael PATON who side-footed home for the third.

The visitors were still licking their wounds when the fourth went in two minutes later.

Higginbotham delivered from the right after besting McHardy and Clark was in the box waiting to apply the finish for a 34-minute hat-trick.

The referee’s whistle spared a fifth hitting the net before half-time.

Only two minutes of the second half had started before Waters was picking the ball out from the back of the net once again.

Higginbotham’s corner on the right was well worked and CLARK netted his fourth of the afternoon after a dummy.

Elgin almost capitalised on a rare Sean Murdoch error when his clearance culminated in Dodd forcing the stopper into a smart save at his near post on 55 minutes.

The Pars were never really threatened beyond that chance as they sealed the game out comfortably with youngster Callum SMITH ending the rout.

Scott Lochead’s clipped ball over the top sent the striker clean through and cooly fired past Waters with the last kick of the game.

Pars: Murdoch, Williamson, Morris, Ashcroft, Martin, Cardle, Paton (Lochhead, 60), Wedderburn, Higginbotham, Clark (Smith, 72), McManus (M’Voto, 78).
Subs not used: Gill, Morrison, Duthie, Luke.
Goals: Clark (10, 20, 34, 47), Paton (32) and Smith (90).

Elgin: Waters, Cooper, McHardy, Eadie, McKinnon (Bronsky, 46), Reid (Ferguson, 56), McGovern, Cameron, Dodd, Reilly, McLeish (Sutherland, 46).
Subs not used: Dear, Smith, Ferguson, Wilson.

Man of the Match: Nicky Clark.
Referee: David Munro
Attendance: 1757