Peterhead took another giant step towards the Division Two title with a second half pummelling of Montrose that means the Blue Toon could be crowned champions if they win at Clyde and Annan Athletic lose at East Stirlingshire, writes Jim Irving.
The match followed a familiar pattern of a poor first half playing towards the PowerStation end of the stadium before the home side turned on the style after the break.
Peterhead were unchanged from the win over Queens Park the previous week and Ross Smith was missing suspended.
A flat first half saw little in the way of goalmouth action with the best chance falling to the player you would put your mortgage on in current form to score, Rory McAllister.
A weak attempted pass back from the head of Montrose defender Colin Wilson fell short and the prolific striker, with only the keeper to beat, sent his shot off the left hand post.
At the other end, the Gable Endies looked the livelier early on but found Graeme Smith in confident form.
Graham Webster was first to test him after nine minutes with a well struck effort from 25 yards that dipped in wicked fashion in front of Smith causing him to block rather than save.
Five minutes later David Gray played a neat bit of keepy uppy at the edge of the penalty area before volleying a shot into the arms of Smith.
The second half was no sooner underway when McAllister sent a low free kick off the defensive wall and out for a corner kick but the dam eventually burst under incessant Blue Toon pressure just short of the hour mark, a Ryan Strachan cross from the right edge of the penalty area evading everyone and looping into the far corner.
Four minutes later the points were assured with a goal straight from the route one page of the goalscoring manual.
Smith launched a free kick forward from just outside his area and McAllister pirouetted to control the ball and touch it past Stuart McKenzie in one motion to score into the empty net.
After 77 minutes the rout continued after a cut back with pace from Steven Noble from the left side of the six yard box went straight into the path of the on-rushing Montrose substitute Ricky McIntosh who almost tripped over the ball whilst back-tracking, sending it into his own net.
The final nail was hammered into the visitors’ coffin four minutes from the end when a corner from the left by substitute Ryan McCann found McAllister and his downward header was over the goal line before Scott Johnston hooked clear.
Blue Toon boss Jim McInally said: “It was tough in the first half because of the wind and I was a bit disappointed with how we played, although to be fair the players never looked like losing a goal.
“I felt if we could get to 0-0 at half time, we could win it in the second half.
“We were aggressive and quick and got in behind them.
“To win 4-0 at this stage in the season with the pressure that’s on the players is a terrific results and I’m delighted.”
Montrose manager Stuart Garden said: “In the first half we did reasonably well without having too many shots.
“We got into good positions but we just never did enough.
“I don’t know if Peterhead’s first goal was a cross or whether it wsa meant but it went against us and after that we just crumbled. The goals we conceded were terrible.”
Peterhead - Smith, Sharp (McCann 50), Noble, Brown, Ross, Cowie, Rodgers (Cox 78) Redman, McAllister, Gilfillan (McLaren 59), Strachan
Unused; Jarvie (GK), Richardson, Low.
Referee – Des Roach
Attendance – 671