Brora Rangers needed a last-gasp Jordan MacRae winner against Forres Mechanics to maintain their three-point lead at the top of the Highland League.
The Cattachs were forced to dig deep for their victory, with their task made even harder by the dismissal of defender Colin Williamson in the second half.
MacRae had the final say in stoppage time however, and following a string of recent high-scoring victories Cattachs player-manager Steven Mackay felt the win showed his side is also capable of scrapping out wins.
Mackay said: “It’s all very well winning by six or seven goals.
“As comfortable as the game was, you sometimes take more satisfaction from a really gritty performance.
“Maybe last season we would have drawn that game, or even lost it.
“I don’t think we played as well as we have been in terms of being creative and moving the ball forward.
“We kept encouraging them to believe the goal would come, and perhaps there were times we thought it wasn’t going to.
“Although I wouldn’t care to go through those sorts of games an awful lot throughout the season, it was very satisfying at the end.”
Williamson was sent off shortly after the break, after being shown a second yellow card for pulling down Stuart Soane, but it was Brora who came closest to scoring with Ally MacDonald’s header and Paul Brindle’s effort striking the woodwork.
The winner arrived in injury time when Andy Macrae’s driving run took him past two Mechanics defenders before he slipped the ball through to namesake MacRae, who tucked a tidy finish low into Stuart Knight’s bottom corner.
Mackay paid tribute to the signing from Cove Rangers, adding: “He has scored quite a few important goals for us this season.”