In-form Stephen Dobbie helped himself to four goals as Queen of the South sunk high-flying Ayr United in a five-goal rout at Palmerston.
Dobbie’s haul included a hat-trick in the space of ten first-half minutes while a moment of individual brilliance from Gary Harkins saw the Doonhamers thrash their Championship rivals.
The visitors finished the game with ten men when left-back Daniel Harvie was given his marching orders after 79 minutes.
Queens now sit third in the Championship.
“It’s a solid start, that’s what we asked for,” manager Gary Naysmith said. “I think Stephen [Dobbie] spoke last week and before we went out and said, ‘let’s try and get six points and have a good solid start’ and we’ve managed to get that.
“It was built up as the Lawrence Shankland v Stephen Dobbie match but I think that was a disservice to Ayr. They have only conceded one goal in three games and we have scored five today which shows you how well we have played. However, we have also made the second top goalscorer [Shankland] in Scotland feed off scraps – and that was just as important as Stephen and Lyndon [Dykes] causing problems up front.”
Dobbie opened the scoring after 12 minutes when he curled the ball past Ross Doohan into the top right-hand corner from 22 yards.
Queens’ and Dobbie’s second came from the penalty spot after Andrew Stirling was pulled down in the box by Harvie, the left-back being booked for the foul. The 35-year-old slotted the ball into the bottom right corner – sending Doohan the wrong way in the process.
And the veteran striker completed his first half hat-trick just a minute later when he rounded Doohan and slid the ball into the empty net.
He could have had four when the home side were awarded another spot kick after Dykes was fouled. However, Doohan made a good save low to his right to deny the front-man, pictured left.
The fourth came when Gary Harkins’ sublime left-foot strike nestled in the top left-hand corner on the 37th minute.
Into the second half and Ayr salvaged some pride but were punished when Harvie was shown his second yellow card of the game for dissent on 79 minutes.
Dobbie then snatched his fourth and the final goal of the game when he stroked the ball into the net from six yards in the 84th minute.
Ayr boss Ian McCall said: “I’ve said to them our start to the season has been utterly thrilling and that game doesn’t change that.
“I can’t criticise my players, I really can’t, because of what they have done.”