An insipid display from Montrose saw the hosts punished as Elgin Cit won 3-0 on Saturday.
Chris Dodd put City in front before Sutherland netted a brace for the Highland outfit.
The Gable Endies were poor, undoubtedly well below the recent standard set under new boss Stewart Petrie, but the three-goal margin of victory felt harsh on the hosts.
Admittedly the side looked more like their pre-Petrie selves for much of the afternoon but Elgin never really tore them apart.
Gary Fraser went for the spectacular from 25 yards with a looping volley when he saw Cameron Mackay off his line, but the strike was over the bar.
Elgin City then threatened two minutes later, a cross whipped in from the right finding Chris Dodd at the back post but he scopped his shot far too high.
Nice work from Graham Webster released Cammy Ballantyne into the box but the right back couldn't find Fraser with his driven pass, the ball getting cleared for a corner which was narrowly missed by Webster at the back post.
Elgin attacked through Shane Sutherland but the Gable Endies turned the move into a promising counter, but Webster's long range strike was never troubling Mackay.
Ballantyne was the hero for the hosts on 18 minutes, clearing McHardy's bullet header off the line from a Daniel Moore corner.
Dodd then had a curling effort at goal following Moore's free kick but it was several yard wide of Jordan Millar's post.
City took the lead on 29 minutes, Dodd finally bundling the ball over the line after Sutherland's cut-back pass was blocked twice by the Montrose defence.
Sutherland made it 2-0 on 40 minutes with a terrific finish out of nothing, curving a strike to the back post after collecting a long ball from defence - Gregor Anderson missed a simple clearance and the League Two top scorer happily increased City's lead.
Montrose looked energised after half-time but it was the visitors who had the first chance of the half, Brian Cameron smashing the ball at the far post from inside the box but his effort went wide.
Fraser's corner was smartly headed down by sub Ross Campbell but the knock-down wasn't capitalised on and Elgin cleared.
Terry Masson was slipped through by Campbell on 75 minutes but his shot was blocked for a corner that came to nothing.
Millar had to make a superb save low to his right after Cameron struck an effort to the far post.
It was 3-0 on 87 minutes, Craig Gunn slipping the ball across to Sutherland who happily sidefooted the ball past Millar after Anderson had slipped while trying to intercept it.