Fraserburgh boss Mark Cowie has challenged the Broch to be in a Highland League title race he reckons could go to the wire.
A 3-2 defeat of 10-man Buckie Thistle courtesy of a late converted penalty sustained Fraserburgh’s pressure near the top of the table.
Sitting third, the Broch are six points behind leaders Brora Rangers but hold a game in hand.
Cowie said: “Come March we will have a better understanding of where the league is going but I am hoping we are in the mix.
“I have said all along Brora are the strongest at this stage.
“Inverurie are looking pretty strong as well and there is also Buckie Thistle.
“You cannot discount Rothes because they will be there or thereabouts. I am hoping that we are involved in the title race.”
Fraserburgh went ahead at Bellslea Park courtesy of Scott Barbour before Sam Urquhart netted a penalty.
Broch keeper Daniel Bell was sent off in the first half.
After the break Fraserburgh regained the lead through Paul Campbell before Buckie levelled via Andrew MacAskill.
With only five minutes remaining Fraserburgh were awarded a penalty that Campbell converted to secure a vital three points.
Cowie said: “We didn’t start the best but after the first 10 minutes we controlled the first half and should have been ahead at the break but unfortunately went in 1-1.
“In the second half we weren’t quite hitting the same heights as the first but did enough to merit the win.
“When you get a penalty in the last five minutes Paul Campbell is probably the player you want on it.
“He is composed in those situations.”
Buckie manager Graeme Stewart was frustrated at the dismissal of keeper Bell and confirmed the club will appeal the decision.
Stewart said: “We will be appealing Daniel Bell’s red card and hopefully footage will show it was a ridiculous decision.
“Our goalkeeper came out, made a good save and then tried to challenge someone who has a free shot.
“The guy shoots and misses then the referee sent off our keeper – it was unbelievable.
“It changed the game as we were playing with 10 men for 55 minutes.
“We had to reshape and take off a striker. I am happy with the performance when down to 10 men.”