Cumbernauld Colts were caught cold by an impressive Spartans side at a freezing Ainslie Park on Friday night.
The capital side reinforced their Lowland League title challenge on a difficult night for the Cumbernauld men.
The young Colts team started well, containing their hosts and showing their own threat on occasion on the counter attack.
But they fell behind on 25 minutes when Alan Brown and Jamie Dishington linked up on the edge of the Colts box before Brown’s powerful shot deflected off the unfortunate Scott Ferguson and ball sailed over Ronan Fallens into the net.
Colts went close in 34 minutes when Craig Murray broke down the right and fired the ball into the front post for Sean Brown, but a timely headed intervention by Adam Corbett prevented an almost certain equaliser.
Dishington then should have doubled the Spartans lead, heading wide from close range with goal at his mercy.
Colts started the second half brightly looking to get back into the game, but they were hit with a sucker punch in 50 minutes when a sweeping Spartans move ended with a neat finish past Fallens by Blair Atkinson.
And Spartans all but secured the victory in 58 minutes when a tremendous free kick from Craig Stevenson crashed back off the bar and Dishington was sharpest, following up to head the ball into an empty net with Fallens stranded.
Colts should have grabbed a consolation goal in 75 minutes when Steven Kerr was found inside the six yard box unmarked, but blasted over.
A minute later Atkinson grabbed his second when he got onto the end of another sweeping move before confidently sliding the ball under Fallens from close range.
Colts’ misery was compounded further with only two minutes left on the clock when Spartans’ Spanish striker Guillermo Lamarca capitalised on a poor defensive clearance before drilling the ball low under the diving Fallens.