Jim Weir described four-goal Shane Sutherland as “unplayable” in Elgin City’s eight-goal romp past poor Hawick Royal Albert.
The Borough Briggs manager believes the former Caley Thistle forward is back to his best again after recapturing his thirst for the fray.
Weir said: “I thought Shane Sutherland was terrific. In that form he’s unplayable at times.
“It’s great to see him enjoying his football and great to see his work-rate at that level. He’s getting the goals because of that.
“He’s desperate to score goals, desperate to work hard for the team and you can see there’s a hunger and a desire there. I’m delighted for him.”
While Weir was very satisfied with Elgin’s professional dismissal of the Lowland League visitors, he reserved praise for them too.
He added: “I’ve got to give credit to Hawick, taking the scoreline away. They were better than I anticipated and I can see why they gave Berwick Rangers so many problems in the last round.
“My goalkeeper had to make two really good saves at crucial times in the game. I’m pleased to be in the next round.
“I know we played well at times and I’m taking nothing away from my players, but Marc Waters had to produce a wonder-stop in the first 30 seconds.
“Our second half performance was excellent.”
That brilliant Waters save denied Kris Mitchell an opener inside 40 seconds but Elgin soon took the game by the scruff of the neck.
Sutherland cracked in a left-footed effort to open his account on six minutes, before rounding keeper Kyle Rankin to add a second on 24 minutes.
They pulled one back on 32 minutes, with Mitchell forcing the ball home after Waters had parried a Josh Morris drive.
But Sutherland again rounded Rankin to score from a Chris Dodd pass and put City 3-1 up at the break.
Another stunning Waters save kept out Morris’s point-blank header early in the second half and Elgin broke straight upfield for Chris McLeish to bundle in their fourth.
That finally knocked the stuffing out of Hawick and another Dodd pass released Brian Cameron to score on 64 minutes.
Sutherland forced in his fourth after a Craig Gunn shot was saved, then Gunn went through to add the seventh on 76 minutes.
Cameron completed the scoring two minutes from time, netting a Jamie Reid cross.