Inverurie Locos beat Brechin City 2-1 in the second v third Breedon Highland League clash at Harlaw Park.
A second half brace from the Railwaymen’s record goalscorer Neil Gauld was the difference between the sides, although Kieran Inglis netted a late consolation for Brechin.
The result keeps Inverurie – who have now won five successive league games – second in the table and also ended Brechin’s run of five straight wins.
Hosts start well
Locos started brightly and had the first decent effort on goal after 10 minutes.
Calum Dingwall’s corner was nodded down by Ryan Broadhurst and Kieran Shanks was first to react but Brechin goalkeeper Jack Wills blocked the striker’s close range shot.
Soon after Shanks sent in a tempting cross from the right flank which just evaded Gauld.
Midway through the first period Mark Souter galloped forward 70 yards from centre-back before going down in the box under pressure from Jamie Bain, but referee Joel Kennedy waved away Inverurie’s penalty appeals.
Brechin’s only sustained spell of attacking pressure in the first period came around the half hour mark.
David Cox headed wide from a Jamie Bain cross and then goalkeeper Andy Reid parried a stinging 20-yard drive from Max Kucheriavyi behind for a fruitless corner.
At the other end Dingwall’s corner found Broadhurst, but his bicycle kick was well held by Wills as it remained goalless at the break.
Locos make the breakthrough
But it took Inverurie only five minutes to break the deadlock after the restart.
Dingwall’s corner to the back post was headed across goal by Broadhurst and Gauld was on hand to scramble the ball home from close range.
In response Brechin substitute Cameron Ross had an effort from the edge of the box saved by Reid.
Locos were deserving of their advantage having created the better chances, with Dingwall’s dead ball deliveries looking particularly dangerous.
The visitors had huffed and puffed without looking particularly threatening.
A Bain free-kick broke for Ross but his header was comfortably held by Reid and then Marc Scott lashed a shot well wide after cutting in from the right flank.
Inverurie doubled their advantage in the 69th minute with Gauld capitalising on a loose touch by defender Samuel Denham before beating the defender on the left side of the box and firing a low shot beyond Wills.
It was hard to see a way back for Brechin given their creative struggles.
Inverurie threatened to score again with Wills doing well to hold a powerful Souter header from another Dingwall corner.
With 13 minutes left Dingwall stung the palms of the Brechin goalkeeper with a shot from 25 yards.
In the closing stages Inverurie should have added to the scoreline.
First Nathan Meres lifted a shot over from close range after Shanks broke down the right and cut the ball back.
Then Shanks was through on goal himself, but Wills blocked the effort with his foot.
In the 90th minute Brechin pulled one back with Robert Ward tripping Murray MackKntosh at a corner and Kieran Inglis converted from the spot, but Locos held out.