COVE Rangers manager Paul Hartley has applauded the players for racking up a ninth straight home win in Ladbrokes League Two by beating Elgin City 2-0.
But he followed that by warning the toughest part of the campaign has still to come in the New Year.
Goals from Declan Glass and Mitch Megginson gave us the victory that ensured we will end 2019 on top of the table, two points clear of Edinburgh City.
“Our home form has been amazing,” said Paul.
“To get nine wins in a row is a great achievement by the players - but they’ve got to keep it going.
“It’s fantastic that we now have 43 points at this stage of the season, it’s a start we could never have envisaged.
“You always hope that you will be in and about the top of the table.
“But we couldn’t be sure how things would go because my coaching staff and I were new to  the job and were working with a different group of players.
“All credit to the players for taking all of that into their stride and performing as well as they have, but we are only half way there.
“No prizes are ever handed out in December, all we’ve done is put ourselves in a good position, but so have some of the others.
“We still have 18 games to go, so we need concentrate on our own business and see if we can gather as many points as possible and see where that takes us too.
“That’s been the secret for us so far, to just take things game by game.”
Elgin proved to be challenging opponents in front of a bumper Balmoral Stadium crowd of 1,264 - the biggest for a League Two fixture so far this season..
Paul thanked the Cove Rangers fans for their support.
“It was an amazing turn out we really appreciate the backing we have been getting at every home game,” he said.
“Hopefully they liked what they saw, it was a very tough game for us.
“Elgin came with a really good game plan, they play with two strikers up top who can cause a lot of problems.
“But I felt we dealt with them - we did the job we had to.
“We were well in control of the first half and created a few chances and then saw the game out, which is the sign of a good team.”
On-loan midfielder Declan, who netted the opener from 25 yards and also set up the second goal for skipper Mitch, is due to return to parent club Dundee United in January.
Paul admitted he would love to see the 19-year-old return to Balmoral later in the month but accepts that will be up to United manager Robbie Neilson.
“We would obviously like to keep Declan and it’s good that he has at least another couple of games left with us,” said Paul.
“I’m not sure we can keep him beyond that, he’s United’s player, but I will speak to Robbie to see where we stand.”