Fraserburgh captain Ryan Christie believes their 1-0 win over Cove Rangers has opened up the Highland League title race.
Scott Barbour netted in the opening minute to give the Broch a victory which moves them within five points of leaders Cove, having played a game more.
Skipper Christie said: “If Cove had won they would have been 11 points clear with a game in hand.
“The title would more or less have been over, we wouldn’t have stopped trying, but it would have been tough. It’s back to five points with a game in hand and there are good teams in this league so you never know what can happen.”
Christie was a colossus at centre-back for Fraserburgh, despite playing with a knee injury.
He added: “I’m getting a knee operation on December 21, but the knee is holding up alright. The physio has done a lot of work on it and it’s good I’m managing to play.
“I think it showed our squad strength to win because we had six players out and a lot of them would play most weeks. So with them not being here and being able to win shows our strength.”
Broch boss Mark Cowie added: “We were questioned by a lot of people and I think we’ve answered the questions.
“It doesn’t matter how the game went, the result is that we beat Cove, which nobody else has done in the league.
“I’ve been hard on the players but they deserve the praise because that was a big victory.”
The Broch led after 29 seconds when BARBOUR controlled Ryan Cowie’s long ball, turned Darryn Kelly and finished from 10 yards.
On 25 minutes Scott Ross tripped Barbour, but Paul Campbell’s penalty was saved by the legs of Stuart McKenzie.
On 64 minutes Cove wanted a spot-kick when Lewis Davidson tripped Jordan MacRae, but MacRae had already been flagged offside.
Three minutes later, Blair Yule was sent off by ref Dan McFarlane after getting a second yellow card for tripping Ryan Cowie and Fraserburgh held on to claim the points.
Cove boss John Sheran, who was sent off with 20 minutes left, said: “I felt the better team lost.
“We played well and got better as the game went on and deserved to get something in the second half.
“Once things settled down after the opening 10 minutes we caused them a lot of problems.
“You just know some days things won’t break for you. There are some incidents don’t go for you and that’s it.”
Elsewhere Josh Bolton (2), Chris Herd and Neil McLean netted as Inverurie Locos beat Huntly 4-0.
Conor Gethins late double gave Formartine United a 3-2 win at Turriff. Mike Ewen and James Chalmers netted for Turra with Jevan Anderson getting the Formartine opener.
Brora stay third after beating Forres 4-0 at Dudgeon Park.