Saltcoats scored first but two goals by Thomas Marshall (including one penalty) and strikes by Darren McPhie and Sam McConnell did the damage for ’Hill and moved them eighth in West of Scotland League Conference A with 26 points from 16 games ahead of this Saturday’s league trip to Lesmahagow Juniors, KO 2pm.
Gaffer Elliott, who took his entire squad from the now defunct Bellshill United AFC with him to Athletic, said: “We were definitely delighted with the result and something to build on.
"But it definitely wasn’t a perfect performance.
"Although Saltcoats are bottom of the league, they have had some close calls against teams in and around us. At that level no games are going to be easy.
"In the early stages of playing at a higher level, my players have given a great account of themselves.
"They’re so much more committed to their training and their overall concentration and dedication on training nights and game days is night and day.
“And I think in all honesty they’re actually showing me that this is the level they belong at.”
Although this weekend’s opponents Lesmahagow – whose player/boss is former Athletic player Neil Schoneville – were thrashed 6-0 at Maybole Juniors last Saturday, there were mitigating circumstances as ’Gow had two men sent off.
Elliott said: “They played most of the game with nine men so we’re definitely not reading into that one too much.
"We expect them to be really good on Saturday because they’ve always been a good side.”