Title challengers Inverurie Locos rounded off a fine week with a highly impressive eight-goal win against Turriff United.
Fresh from reaching the Aberdeenshire Shield final in midweek by twice coming from behind to defeat Huntly at Christie Park, Locos stepped up another gear to inflict a heavy defeat on United.
The victory consolidates the Garioch side’s status as the closest challengers to leaders Brora Rangers who they continue to trail by just three points, albeit having played a game more.
Locos’ goals were shared between their three attackers Neil Gauld, Jonny Smith and Chris Angus, and manager Andy Low was thrilled by the firepower shown by his side on the day.
Low said: “My strikers were outstanding and so was the team performance overall, apart from a 15-minute spell in the second half when we took the foot off the gas. It was a really good day’s work and the players took on board what I said to them after the midweek win. We stepped on.
“When I named the line-up before the game you realise how strong a team it was and that was without the likes of captain Neil McLean who was carrying a wee knock and Jamie Michie who was suspended.
“I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t keep a clean sheet but you cannot argue with the fact we have scored eight goals. We are a bit behind some of the other challengers in terms of goal difference.”
Locos opened the scoring in the third minute when Andy Hunter played a slide rule pass through the inside right channel for Gauld to dispatch low past Fraser Hobday.
The home side doubled the advantage 11 minutes later, with Gauld finding the net again from close range with a low effort which edged in off the post.
Only four minutes passed before a poor back-headed pass ran on for Angus who let the ball run on before sliding underneath the body of Hobday.
Not to be outdone, fellow striker Smith made it four in style on 27 minutes with a superbly disguised chip from nearly 30 yards out.
Inverurie were in ruthless mood and Gauld completed his hat-trick on 33 minutes after visiting defenders blocked out the initial effort by Angus.
Having trailed by five goals at the interval, Turriff momentarily reduced the deficit on 66 minutes when Cammy Bowden headed home Adam Cross’s free kick from the left.
Locos restored the five-goal advantage, however, with good link up between Gauld and Smith setting up the latter to sidefoot into the corner.
Smith matched Gauld’s hat-trick exploits four minutes later, when he rifled high into the net after good work by Angus.
The scoring was completed by Gauld five minutes from time, with the forward clipping the ball over the head of Hobday to round off a convincing victory.
It was an afternoon to forget for Turriff, and assistant manager Graeme Mathieson conceded his side were punished for their own errors.
Mathieston said: “We created more chances in the game than in our last three matches but when you make mistakes against the quality of strikers we were facing this is what happens.”