Fraserburgh boss Mark Cowie hailed goalkeeper Paul Leask for his role in their victory over Nairn County.
The Broch won 1-0 at Station Park courtesy of Ryan Cowie’s goal, but Leask’s second half penalty save from Scott Davidson was equally important.
Bellslea gaffer Cowie said: “He saved us a few times in the game, he had a couple of really good saves and to be fair on chances it could have been 3-3 after 30 minutes on the chances.
“We know how big a player Paul can be for us and it’s shown with the penalty save.
“I think the boy struck it really well, but Paul managed to get across and put it over the bar. If he keeps clean sheets then he’s doing a brilliant job for us.”
It’s two wins from two for Fraserburgh in this shortened Highland League season.
Cowie added: “It’s a massive three points, Nairn are an excellent side they put us under pressure in spells.
“They like to get forward and take chances and we had to adapt to that.
“But to go to Nairn keep a clean sheet and win 1-0 is exactly what you’re looking for so I’m really happy with the three points.”
Leask made good saves early on to deny Callum MacLean and Liam Shewan while at the other end Scott Barbour tested Nairn keeper Dylan MacLean and also shot over.
Fraserburgh’s goal came on 33 minutes when Owen Cairns outmuscled Cohen Ramsay on the right and sent in a low cross for Ryan Cowie, who raced in at the back post to tap home.
Full time Nairn County 0 Fraserburgh 1 #thebroch
— Fraserburgh FC (@FraserburghFC) December 19, 2020
Leask did well to parry clear Tom MacLennan’s free-kick from 25 yards before the break, but on 72 minutes County had the chance they had been waiting for when Bryan Hay tripped Davidson in the box.
But Davidson’s left-footed attempt from 12 yards was brilliantly tipped over by Leask.
Referee Duncan Nicolson gave Paul Campbell a straight red card late on for catching Adam Porritt with a sliding challenge.
Cowie said: “In my opinion it’s never a red card it’s a yellow at best. It’s basically a time-wasting trip.
“The players didn’t think it was a red card and the Nairn backroom staff didn’t think it was a red card.”
Wins for Vale and Buckie while Huntly draw
Elsewhere, Keith beat Deveronvale 2-1 at Princess Royal Park. Cammy Keith and Michael Selfridge netted for the Maroons with Robert Scott scoring a penalty for Vale in Craig Stewart’s first game as interim manager.
Huntly drew 2-2 with Lossiemouth. Gary McGowan’s brace had the Black and Golds ahead twice, but the Coasters fought back with goals from Ryan Stuart and Ryan Sewell.
Goals from Sam Morrison, Kyle Macleod, Joe McCabe, Jack Murray and Sam Urquhart gave Buckie Thistle a 5-1 win at Rothes and Brora Rangers beat Fort William 10-0.
Clachnacuddin v Inverurie Locos was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
It was the same story for Formartine United v Turriff United and Wick Academy v Musselburgh Athletic in the second round of the Scottish Cup, but those games have been rearranged for tonight.