Dundee United struck four second half goals to comfortably see off Elgin City in their final Betfred Cup group match at Borough Briggs.
Following a goalless first half, a double from Nicky Clark and goals from Adam Barton and Declan Glass ensured injury-ravaged City ended their tricky Group C campaign without registering a point, with focus now turning to their League 2 opener away to Annan Athletic next Saturday.
City made three changes from the side that was defeated 3-0 by Alloa Athletic in midweek, with skipper Jon-Paul McGovern, Darryl McHardy and Chris McLeish returning in place of Ashley Ballam, Rabin Omar and Kerr Hay.
United set the early tempo without producing any direct threat to Kyle Gourlay’s goal, with City’s David Banjo making a good intervention to head Fraser Aird’s tempting delivery behind.
The visitors forced a succession of corners, with their closest attempt coming when Aird’s delivery was nodded wide by Frederic Frans.
City were looking to threaten on the break, with a neat low delivery from left back Jordan Lowdon failing to find any takers.
It was a first half largely bereft of chances, with United skipper Sam Stanton lashing an effort high over the bar on the volley on 39 minutes, while another Aird set-piece was headed over by Nicky Clark.
United started the second half brightly, with Elgin’s on-loan Dundee goalkeeper Kyle Gourlay forced into action for the first time when he blocked Matthew Smith’s low effort with his legs.
The Tangerines had further chances, with William Edjenguele heading Aird’s corner over, while Jamie Robson saw an effort blocked by City’s impressive teenage defender David Wilson.
Elgin threatened on the break when Ryan Farquhar was released down the right flank before his cross narrowly evaded the head of McLeish.
Most of the pressure was coming from United however, and their persistence eventually paid off on 67 minutes. A neat move saw substitute Yannick Loemba feed the ball through for Smith, whose cutback was tucked home from close-range by attacker Clark.
The points were sealed just five minutes later, with the impressive Loemba once again the architect with a fine cross which was once again met by Clark to bullet home a header.
Csaba Laszlo’s side added a third goal from the penalty spot on 80 minutes after Clark was bundled over by Darryl McHardy, with Barton lashing the spot kick high into the net.
Substitute Glass put the icing on the cake with a composed finish at the death to complete the scoring, however the result was not enough to see United qualify for the next round of the competition.