Jim McIntyre was pleased Cove Rangers made home advantage count as a Connor Scully brace helped see off Arbroath.
The 2-0 win was Cove’s first since the opening day of the season and came courtesy of a rare brace in front of goal from long-serving midfielder Scully.
Both Hamilton and Morton also lost on Saturday, which allows Cove to move up to seventh ahead of the visit of Dundee on Tuesday night.
“It was crucial to get the win,” said McIntyre. “There’s other games I thought we should have won but we haven’t but that’s just the Championship. But we’re fully aware one win in seven isn’t good enough.
“That gets us closer to the points tally we’re looking for per quarter and we knew the teams round about us were playing the top sides today.
“There’s games in a season where you’ve got to take advantage, particularly playing at home where we’ve got to pick up most of our points.”
Cove took the lead after 15 minutes when Luis Longstaff played in Max Johnston, with his cross picking out Scully at the back post to head home.
Debutant Jack Sanders denied Dale Hilson with a last-ditched challenge before Scully got his second on 34 minutes. Shay Logan cut inside from the left and forced a save from Derek Gaston, with Scully on hand to turn home the rebound.
Cieran Dunne nearly teed up Mitch Megginson for a third before having an attempt at goal himself, which was blocked by Marcel Oakley.
Scully was unfortunate not to get a hat-trick, with Gaston keeping him at bay in a crowded penalty area, before Colin Hamilton sent a header wide when he should have hit the target.
“We started the game on the front foot,” added McIntyre. “We placed a big demand on our wide players and central midfielders, to get more crosses into the box and support the striker.
“We were pleased we were able to do that and it paid off with Scully getting the two goals.
“I thought Charlie Gilmour backed up the two in front of him really well, with a cleverness to know how to play that position. Scott Allan is a deft footballer and you’ve got to deny him time and space.
“Charlie has been schooled at Arsenal so knows how to position himself and equally makes good decisions when he’s on the ball.”
Keeping a clean sheet also pleased the Cove boss, particularly with a new-look back four.
Sanders was pitched straight in at centre-half, alongside fellow loanee Kyle McClelland, with teenager Johnston on the right and Logan on the left.
“It’s more difficult to integrate players when you only train two nights a week,” said McIntyre. “That (clean sheet) was all the more pleasing. We’ve been patient in the transfer market and I feel we’ve signed good players, who are hungry to do well and carve out a career for themselves.
“I watch them train every week and they give you energy when they train, because they train so well. Sometimes our quality isn’t good enough on a Saturday but it’s certainly not for want of trying.”
COVE RANGERS (4-3-3) – Gourlay 6; Johnston 7, Sanders 6, McClelland 6 (Ross 76), Logan 7, Yule 7, Gilmour 7, Scully 8, Longstaff 6 (Masson 82), Megginson 6, Dunne 7. Subs not used – McKenzie, Towler, Ross, McDonagh, McIntosh, Vigurs, Leitch, Reynolds.
ARBROATH (4-4-1-1) – Gaston; Oakley, Little, Hamilton, Hancock, Gold, Jacobs 6 (McKenna 64), Tait 5 (Shanks 64), Linn 6 (Corfe 64), Allan 5 (Bitsindou 64), Hilson 5 (Fosu 64). Subs not used – Gill, Isiaka.
Referee – Euan Anderson.
Attendance – 881.
Player of the match – Connor Scully.