Cove Rangers’ goal hero Harry Milne is delighted his quick-fire double helped maintain their title challenge.
Milne netted twice inside the opening seven minutes as Cove beat Strathspey Thistle 5-0 at Harlaw Park, Inverurie.
Top scorer Daryl Nicol also hit a double to bring his tally for the season to 41.
Veteran Jamie Watt completed the scoring to ensure Cove climbed back up into second spot as the thrilling race for the Highland League’s top prize heads into the final straight.
Milne, who is in his first full season with Cove after spending last term on loan to Junior side Culter, said: “Strathspey gave us a tough game up at their place so it was good to get the goals to give us an early advantage.”
Brora Rangers stay top thanks to a 4-3 home win over Huntly. Third-placed Formartine United are also in the frame.
Milne said: “We are at the stage when we are all looking at each other’s results.
“It’s important you try to stay focused on the job in hand when you actually play though and that’s what we did.”
Cove and United meet next Wednesday in a game that could have a huge bearing on who becomes champions.
Milne, however, insists Cove are looking no further forward than their visit to Rothes at the weekend. He said: “Rothes have just won their first match so their spirits will be up. Every match in this league is tough.”