Inverurie Locos responded in the most positive manner to their midweek Aberdeenshire Shield final defeat by Fraserburgh, with a 5-0 victory against Rothes.
Andy Low’s side now prepare for a weekend trip to face league leaders Brora Rangers at Dudgeon Park.
Low said: “We simply got back to the basics of hard work and getting the ball forward earlier to the strikers, who’ve still been scoring goals.
“It’s not the time of year for pretty football. Our two strikers Andy Hunter and Chris Angus were outstanding and the rest of the team followed on the back of that.
“Jamie Michie and Ryan Stott earned their starts on merit, they both work on great energy levels.
“We will, however, have to cope for the rest of the season without the services of Callum Dingwall, who has probably been our most consistent player. Work commitments are taking him away, but other players have the chance to stake their claims to fill the position.”
The opener came in the second minute. Michie’s in-swinging corner saw Hunter challenge Rothes keeper Ewen MacDonald and when the ball fell to the ground, Hunter knocked it home.
In 36 minutes, determined running down the right by Michie paved the way for Chris Angus to rifle home left-footed from close range. It was a goal that saw the ex-Buckie forward enter Locos’ history books, as he has now scored in eight consecutive matches, a first for the club in the senior era.
Goal number three was again made by Michie, with the midfielder’s corner powered home at the near post by Stott.
The half ended as it started, with a Locos goal, as Andy Reid’s long punt upfield was chased down by Hunter who found the bottom corner with a left-foot shot.
The second half was all about restoration of pride for the Speysiders, who proceeded to pepper Reid’s goal with shots and headers which the home rearguard coped with admirably.
The loss of the fifth goal came right at the end, with Angus rolling the ball over the line after another impressive move for his second of the game.
Rothes goalkeeper MacDonald was red-carded for aiming a petulant kick at the striker, much to the frustration of his manager Ross Jack.
He said: “It was a moment of madness and it leaves us with a massive headache as our other keeper is on a long-term suspension.
“It was a day to forget, losing a goal in the early minutes and it went from bad to worse.”
Meanwhile, Inverurie have confirmed the permanent transfer of 23-year-old midfielder Sam Burnett from Cove Rangers on a deal until 2023.