Highland League leaders Cove Rangers ran out narrow victors in a five-goal thriller against Deveronvale at Princess Royal Park.
Cove manager John Sheran was delighted to leave Banff with all three points after his side’s second 3-2 victory in the space of four days, having defeated Formartine United by the same scoreline in the Aberdeenshire Shield midweek.
He said: “That was a really important three points for us, especially after Wednesday night at Formartine when we had to work really hard for 120 minutes.
“We saw the effect that had on the players today.
“But credit to Deveronvale as they made it hard for us but the boys showed great character to get the three points.”
Deveronvale manager Steve Dolan was proud of his young side for running the league leaders close.
He said: “Cove came here two months ago and beat us 5-0 but I told the players before the game I felt we had enough about us to win this one – and we almost did.
“We showed what we are capable of. It was a defeat but we have to try to be positive.”
Vale goalkeeper Grant Pennet survived a let-off in the fourth minute when he made a complete mess of Steven Davidson’s pass-back but the Vale defence manage to clear the danger as Ryan Stott closed in.
Cove took the lead in the seventh minute with a simple goal. Mitch Megginson fed Jamie Masson and his 10-yard deflected effort wrong-footed Pennet and ended up in the back of the net.
However, nine minutes later the home side were back on level terms. Cove failed to clear a long-range free-kick and when the ball ballooned up to Lewis Dunbar he headed powerfully past the helpless Stuart McKenzie from 10 yards.
Vale went ahead in the 32nd minute with a brilliant solo effort from Paul Sutherland, who beat Grant Campbell and Scott Ross before firing the ball into the top corner from 22 yards.
Cove were back on level terms seven minutes later when Ryan Stott’s speculative 30-yarder bounced in front of Pennet, deceiving the Vale number one and once again the ball ended up in the back of the net.
Just after the break, Vale had loud claims for a penalty turned down by referee Davie Watt after goal-scorer Sutherland went down in the box after a challenge from goalkeeper McKenzie. The Banffer hobbled off with a leg injury shortly after.
In the 66th minute Cove were back in the lead with a blistering 18-yard drive from Ryan Strachan.
Deveronvale tried hard to find an equaliser but the Cove defence stood firm to collect three hard-earned points.