Individual errors proved costly as Coldstream’s good run of results came top a shuddering halt against the East of Scotland Premier Division leaders at Home Park.
The home side were 4-0 down at half time and had defender Michael Allan and manager Stevie Gibbard sent off in the second half on a day to forget for the team propping up the table.
Goalkeeper Mark Walters did save a penalty in the second half, but the game was over by half time.
Coldstream went into this fixture on the back of a four-match unbeaten run, but were punished for making too many mistakes by the high-flying title chasers.
After an even ten minutes, Leith went in front when Lachlan Thom’s shot from the edge of the box was parried by Walters straight back into the patch of John Ferguson. He made no mistake.
Just six minutes later Axel Cassard conceded a penalty for tripping Kerr Allan in the corner of the box. Grant Burns sent Walters the wrong way from the spot, and the third came in the 20th minute when Coldstream failed to deal with a low, near-post corner. The ball bounced before hitting Arnaud Gauthier and looping over Walters into the net for an own goal.
On 29 minutes, Leith made it 4-0. Leith were first to react when a headed clearance from Allan dropped outside the box. Jamie Lauder collected and set up Lewis Tracey inside him. He drove towards goal and into the bottom corner.
Allan’s frustration boiled over early in the second half when he was sent off for throwing the ball at an opponent. Gibbard was then ordered to the stand for disputing another refereeing decision.
Leith went five up against the ten men with a well-worked goal in the 81st minute, Lauder finishing a neat move down the left.
When Cassard gave away another penalty for another trip the visitors should have made it six. But Walters pulled off a fine stop to deny Hainey.
The final whistle, when it came, was a relief for Coldstream.
Coldstream: Walters, Marc, Cassard, Ainslie (McLeod 75), Allan, Tweddle, Gauthier, Neill, Crawford (Graham 54), O’Neil (Rutherford 60). Subs not used: Oliver, Johnson