Kirrie Thistle were humbled 5-0 at home by a strong Downfield outfit that included four ex-Thistle players in their ranks.
The visitors are favourites for the title so a difficult game was always going to be had for Kirrie who held their own for the majority of the game but were undone by a series of unfortunate mistakes.
Thistle started optimistically and pushed forward in search of an opener, the best chance of the opening exchanges falling to Millar after good work by Muckersie and Barclay.
Clark netted his first of the day from the penalty spot after Knox hauled Ross Lunan to the ground.
The striker added his second shortly after following good work with ex-Kirrie man Robert Smith.
It was 2-0 at the break and Clark completed his hat-trick midway through the second period, flying past Middleton and Kettles before poking an effort past Knox.
And he made it four with a weak effort that flew past the despairing Kirrie stopper.
It was 5-0 with 10 minutes to go, the day’s pick of the goals coming from all of 22 yards, curling into the top left corner - just evading Knox who was full stretch.