Ross County opened their Betfred Cup group campaign with a comfortable 4-1 win over League 1 side Montrose at Victoria Park.
Ross Stewart’s double and strikes from Josh Mullin and Billy Mckay secured all three points for County, with the Angus outfit replying through Matty Allan.
It marks a successful start to competitive action for the newly-promoted Premiership Staggies, who travel to Brechin City for their next fixture on Tuesday.
County fielded three of their summer signings, with Ross Laidlaw, Joe Chalmers and Blair Spittal in from the start and on-loan Norwich City winger Simon Power on the bench.
The Staggies got off to the perfect start, taking the lead in sublime fashion after just seven minutes. Jamie Lindsay made an excellent bursting run from midfield before setting up Mullin, who angled an 18-yard drive high beyond the reach of goalkeeper Aaron Lennox.
County doubled their lead just six minutes later, with Joe Chalmers feeding Stewart to stride into the box and coolly slot past Lennox from a wide angle.
The hosts continued to apply pressure, with Mullin seeing a low drive comfortably held by former Aberdeen goalkeeper Lennox, while Brian Graham sidefooted an effort wide of target.
Montrose’s first meaningful effort came on 33 minutes when Josh Skelly drilled a low effort wide of Laidlaw’s goal, however the Staggies goalkeeper was called into action to make an excellent fingertip save to divert another strike from the attacker over the bar.
Skelly was at the heart of Montrose’s danger, and he was once again thwarted by Laidlaw who tipped his effort wide after he had latched on to a goal kick from Lennox.
County extended their lead within seconds of the restart however, with Stewart thumping home a header from Mullin’s
delivery for his second of the afternoon.
Stewart Petrie’s men pulled a goal back on 51 minutes however, with the ball breaking to Matty Allan inside the box before his deflected shot nestled into the net with the aid of a deflection off Liam Fontaine.
County had chances to further add to their lead, with Spittal shooting just wide and Lindsay striking an effort off the post, however the fourth arrived late on when Mckay latched on to Spittal’s through ball before clipping an effort over the onrushing Lennox.