Fraserburgh boss Mark Cowie called for his side to find the consistency to challenge for the Highland League title after another win against one of the top teams.
Formartine United were beaten 2-1 at Bellslea, with a Paul Campbell penalty cancelled out by United’s Archie Macphee before a beautiful curling strike from Scott Barbour won it.
The third-placed Broch have also defeated Brora Rangers, now top, and champions Cove at home.
However, Cowie’s team have dropped points elsewhere and, having played more games than the sides around them, there’s an acceptance Fraserburgh aren’t in the mix for the title.
The boss said: “My problem is we’ve beaten Cove, Brora and Formartine at Bellslea, but we’re not challenging.
“We need to get up there and challenge the best teams in the league. It’s no use dropping points the next week.
“We need to get consistency back into us and make sure we’re up there challenging with the big three.”
A bad Craig McKeown back pass at blustery Bellslea led to the opener on 33 minutes.
United keeper Kevin Main wiped Scott Barbour out as he charged down the ball, handing the home side a penalty. Paul Campbell stuck it in the top right corner to give them the lead.
The equaliser came soon after. Stuart Smith won a corner with a good driving run. Aaron Norris’ delivery found Macphee at the front post and he only had to steer the ball in with his head.
The Broch came out for the second half brighter and were ahead again on 55 minutes after a sensational Barbour goal.
Collecting the ball on the right, the ex-Formartine man cut inside along the 18-yard line before curling the ball through a sea of players and inside Main’s far post.
Soon after Macphee thought he’d restored parity at a corner, but the referee ruled his deflected header hadn’t crossed the line.
Of the win over Paul Lawson’s Pitmedden outfit, who were looking to leapfrog the Broch in the table, Cowie said: “It was a tremendous result and I think we deserved it over the piece.
“Formartine maybe had a bit more of the ball, but every time we came forward we broke at pace.
“We probably had a few breaks we haven’t been getting over the last wee while.”
On Barbour’s brilliant winner, the manager added: “It’s different class, that’s why we brought him to the club.
“Every team’s got match-winners – Macphee for them, Megginson for Cove, Sid Mackay’s probably doing it himself at Brora – and we’ve got Barbour.
“He should have scored in the first half, but his touch to beat his man and the finish were out of this world.”
United boss Lawson, who said his team were “disappointed” with their performance, added: “It was baffling. I don’t think we were great from start to finish.
“Although I think we started the game better, we didn’t really play any good stuff.”