As starts go, this was decent – encouraging even.
New-look Dundee, with new boss James McPake in charge of his first competitive match, looked good as they comfortably took care of business in their Betfred Cup opener at Raith Rovers.
At times they might have been helped by some dodgy refereeing from rookie referee Lloyd Wilson and even more dodgy defending by home centre-back Fernandy Mendy, who had the proverbial nightmare.
But, over the 90 minutes at Stark’s Park on Saturday, McPake’s team looked good and were well worth the 3-0 success that makes them they early pacesetters in their qualifying group.
Apart from one short spell in the second half when they seemed to lose concentration and allowed Raith a period on top, they controlled proceedings and might even have scored a couple more goals.
Not that the manager was complaining about the margin of victory he got, particularly as it saw main striker Andrew Nelson net twice and substitute Craig Curran finally break his scoring duck for a club he joined way back in January.
There was also a clean sheet for a defence that looked pretty sound for the most part, with the central defensive pairing of fit-again skipper Josh Meekings and Jordan McGhee looking particularly solid.
McGhee, a summer arrival from Falkirk, was one of six players making their competitive debuts and all of them did enough to suggest over the close season McPake has recruited wisely.
He also appears to have worked well in a relatively short space of time with what is a new group.
If a win in his first game in charge had to be the main priority, he must have been happy with how well his players appear to be gelling.
While Raith were decent, when the more important business of the Championship comes round there will be sterner tests but to see concrete signs of players building an understanding was pleasing.
As for the actual game action, Dundee did get a break when Nelson appeared to give Mendy a nudge in the back as he put pressure on the defender as he closed him down.
Referee Lloyd Wilson didn’t spot it and that allowed the young Englishman to prod the ball past keeper Ross Munro for the opener.
That the goal stood so infuriated home boss John McGlynn he was red-carded and sent to the stand for aiming a verbal volley at the match official.
Foul or not, credit has to go to Nelson for chasing what looked a lost cause and, from a home point of view, possibly the biggest concern was the weak nature of Mendy’s defending.
More poor play by the centre-half let Dundee move two up before the break when he was penalised for high feet in the box, allowing Nelson to drill home the penalty.
If poor decisions by others played a part in both those goals, the third was entirely down to some superb passing from the visitors.
It saw them cut through the home defence and leave Curran with what should be a confidence-boosting goal.
That third came in the 75th minute and allowed Dundee to coast to the end and maybe conserve a bit of energy for what, with clashes with Cove and Peterhead to come, will be a busy first week of the season.
It also gave the manager the chance to give kids Finlay Robertson and Lyall Cameron some game time from the bench.
Given they will be needed at times in the months ahead, that could prove valuable.