Ross County defeated Elgin City 4-1 at Borough Briggs to move top of Group D of the Betfred Cup.
Goals from Oli Shaw, Alex Iacovitti, Harry Paton and Charlie Lakin earned the Staggies a commanding victory, with Brian Cameron netting a late consolation for the Black and Whites.
County will advance to Sunday’s second round draw if they defeat Stirling Albion at Victoria Park on Saturday, while Elgin can also still qualify if they triumph away to Championship side Arbroath.
Elgin made one change from the side which went down 1-0 to Queen’s Park on Saturday, with Smart Osadolor drafted in for Aiden Sopel, while Kane Hester was cleared to play following his dismissal in the league defeat to the Spiders.
County made five changes from the side which drew 1-1 with Livingston on Friday, with Ross Laidlaw, Carl Tremarco, Jermaine Hylton, Regan Charles-Cook and stand-in skipper Billy Mckay drafted in.
County made the perfect start, taking the lead after just six minutes when the ball was worked to Shaw after Stephen Kelly’s corner had initially been cleared, with the striker keeping up his fine recent scoring run with a low shot which was deflected past Thomas McHale.
The visitors suffered a blow moments later when Tremarco limped off, being replaced by teenager Josh Reid.
Elgin responded well, with Hester seeing three strikes well saved by Laidlaw in close succession.
The Staggies could have doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time when Mckay went through on goal after latching on to Harry Paton’s ball, however Stephen Bronsky got across to make a strong block.
County were not to be denied from the resulting corner however, with Iacovitti netting at the second attempt after his initial header from Reid’s delivery was saved by McHale.
The visitors added a fine third goal on 51 minutes, with Paton latching on to Mckay’s flick on before clinically finding McHale’s left hand corner from just inside the box.
Substitute Lakin joined Iacovitti in netting his first goal for the Dingwall men on 77 minutes, when he curled a sublime free kick beyond the reach of McHale.
City pulled one back through Cameron’s low strike from the edge of the box four minutes later, but it was a commanding win for the Highlanders.