Cove Rangers battled to their 15th Highland League win in 15 matches, despite a stressful journey to Nairn County.
The Granite City side were delayed getting out of Aberdeen, reaching Station Park less than an hour before kick-off.
However, John Sheran’s champions triumphed 1-0 thanks to a second-half Connor Scully free-kick and will now enter Saturday’s trip to Clachnacuddin five points clear of nearest challengers Fraserburgh despite having two games in hand.
Sheran, whose team have reached 50 goals in the league, said: “It was really tight getting out of Aberdeen, with some major traffic issues.
“We got there anyway, that’s the main thing.
“We arrived at the ground and were putting the kits up at 10 past seven; normally we’d have boys changed and ready to go out on the park by then.
“It made it more difficult and the boys handled the situation well.
“I was happy with the performance in the sense we battled, we fought and got the points, that’s the most important thing.”
Sheran added: “Conditions were good, the pitch is fantastic in Nairn and it was a nice calm night.
“We came up against a team who were well organised, worked really hard.
“We had one or two little opportunities that didn’t quite break for us and we were just pleased to get the three points.”
Last night’s game was the only fixture of the evening, and Sheran said Cove were battling a lack of players.
“In terms of player availability and fitness we only had 13 boys, and one was carrying a knock, so we are finding it difficult. You’ve got players who can’t get off work, can’t get there or whatever reason.
“The game was thrown in last minute. But we’re pleased it’s played and job done.”
On midfielder Scully’s strike, Sheran said: “The one bit of quality in the game was Connor Scully’s goal. It was first class.
“It was a free-kick wide on the right and he curled it into the top corner on the far side, so it was a great finish.”