St Andrews United on the up, thanks to Ryan Dignan hat-trick
Threatening to spoil their hosts’ party, the visitors began the match as the stronger side.
Home goalkeeper Calum Brodie twice flapped at crosses from Ormiston’s lively-looking wingers but he was struggling with a virus and probably should not have been playing.
However, United quickly turned defence into attack and they scored the all-important opening goal in the 12th minute. James Collins swung an excellent corner into the away box and Kyle Sneddon rose highest to head the ball past young Primrose goalkeeper Ryan Gordon.
Collins and Ryan Dignan then went close with long-range efforts before the latter scored his first goal of the evening in the 34th minute. Ewan White crossed from the right wing and Gordon spilled the ball at the feet of Dignan when he really should have done better. The experienced centre-forward made no mistake, firing the ball into an unguarded net, and his team-mates could relax a little thereafter.
Ormiston’s players also pressed forward in an attempt to salvage something from the game at the start of the second half and that suited St Andrews United far more than their visitors.
United manager Robbie Raeside has built a squad of players comfortable at keeping possession and passing the ball through midfield so they completely dominated possession whilst preventing Primrose from really troubling Brodie.
The result was put beyond doubt in the 51st minute when Dignan drilled a low shot past Gordon into the bottom right-hand corner of the net, and some members of the away team began to argue with each other thereafter.
That also suited the home side, but Ormiston’s Ben Tracey did test Brodie with a good shot on the hour-mark, which the goalie did well to hold.
Tom Milne was next to try his luck with a terrific effort from outside the box that Gordon managed to save but the goalie was beaten for a fourth time a few moments later. Saints substitute Jordan Mackenzie found Dignan with a lovely pass and the composed striker clipped the ball into the net from a tight angle to complete a deserved hat-trick.
Raeside then made a raft of changes to his side with the points already in the bag and replacement Mitchell Sharp caused the away defence all sorts of problems down the right wing.
Sharp earned a corner, from which Sneddon flicked the ball over the bar, as well as a free-kick that Russell Smith smashed into the defensive wall in the 81st minute.
Smith was one of the best players on the park, the Highlander being back to his best form after recovering from a broken jaw, but the award for man of the match went to Dignan, the big striker having netted his first-ever treble for Saints.
Tuesday’s win – following a 2-0 victory at Edinburgh South on Saturday, thanks to goals from Dignan and Lewis Sawers – leaves United in second place with 71 points from 29 fixtures, seven clear of third-placed Heriot-Watt University and with a game in hand on them.