Brora Rangers survived a late Clachnacuddin rally to move top of the Highland League courtesy of a 2-1 victory at Grant Street Park.
A goal in each half from Martin Maclean and recent signing Andrew Macrae looked to put Steven Mackay’s side in control, however they had to hold firm after Ali Gillies pulled a goal back for the Lilywhites 11 minutes from time.
With Buckie Thistle’s match away to Rothes being postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, Brora knew a victory of any sort in Inverness would send them top on goal difference ahead of Saturday’s vital clash against the Jags.
Brora carried early threat, with Dale Gillespie floating a free kick over the bar and James Wallace sending a low drive wide from the edge of the box.
The Cattachs looked firmly in the mood and it was no surprise when they found a way through the home defence on eight minutes, with Wallace working the ball into the path of Martin Maclean, who curled a superb shot which nestled into trialist goalkeeper Ryan Hunter’s right hand corner.
It was an early blow for Clach, whose promising young winger Ross Logan saw a low effort comfortably gathered by Joe Malin. Brora were keen to build on their early promise though, with Macrae sending a header over the bar following a corner.
Clach goalkeeper Hunter was in fine form, twice using his legs to block efforts from on-loan Ross County attacker Wallace, but a second goal eluded the visitors before the break.
Brora kept up the pressure in the early part of the second half, however Clach’s defence did well to limit the Cattachs to efforts from distance, with Neil Macdonald seeing a thundering low drive gathered by Hunter, before Bjorn Wagenaar curled a free kick narrowly off target.
Brora grabbed the all-important second goal on 63 minutes though, when the ball broke for Tom Kelly to play in Macrae, who turned before calmly slotting past Hunter to net his first goal since his switch from Forres Mechanics.
Sandy McLeod’s men were gifted a goal back on 79 minutes when Colin Macrae’s loose header allowed substitute Ali Gillies in on goal, with the teenager eventually squirming the ball under the body of the rapidly advancing Malin.
Although Gillespie was shown a second yellow card for a challenge in stoppage time, the Sutherland outfit held on for a valuable win.