Rothes leapfrogged Fraserburgh back into third place in the Highland League thanks to a hard-earned 2-0 victory against Formartine United.
The hosts secured all three points thanks to a superb first-half strike from teenage midfielder Jack Brown and Steven Anderson’s goal just after the hour.
Anderson was delighted to have found the back of the net again after a bit of a drought and said: “I’ve not had a goal in ages so it was good to score.
“We play Formartine again at their place next week in the semi-final of the Highland League Cup.
“That could be even better as there will definitely be a little bit more needle in that one after this result.
“Their pitch is immaculate so we will be able to get the ball down and play, but the wind today certainly didn’t help either side.”
On-loan keeper Ewen Macdonald was unable to play against his parent club so young Ross County custodian Tommy Dixon-Hodge took his place between the sticks in the Speysiders’ first game for a month.
For the fourth game in a row Formartine United were unchanged, with Conor Gethins and Scott Lisle in a two-pronged attack.
This was a dress rehearsal for Saturday’s Highland League Cup semi-final between the sides at North Lodge Park but the heavy early-morning rain on Speyside meant underfoot conditions were tricky at Mackessack Park.
Formartine looked the more likely side early on and in the 16th minute Gethins headed a Jonny Crawford cross inches over the top.
The Speysiders almost took the lead a minute later when Anderson’s 30-yard drive hit the crossbar and went over, with Kevin Main in the United goal beaten.
Rothes took the lead against the run of play in the 28th minute when a long throw-in found Jack Brown unmarked in the box and he smashed the ball past Main from eight yards.
In the 37th minute, United almost drew level when Gethins saw his powerful six-yard header cannon back off the crossbar before being hacked to safety.
Just before the break, Dixon-Hodge did well to hold on to a Jonny Crawford diving header and, a minute later, Scott Lisle fired wide from 15 yards.
At the other end, Main had to dive full length to palm away a superb angled drive from Daryl McHardy.
In the 63rd minute, Rothes doubled their advantage when a corner from the right picked out the unmarked Anderson and, although not his best strike, the shot was enough to beat Main from six yards.
Rothes now had their tails up and it took a brilliant block by Main to stop Ali Sutherland making it 3-0.
Disappointed United winger Daniel Park hopes his side can bounce back when they face Rothes again this Saturday with a cup final place at stake.
He said: “The pitch was a little bit boggy here and it didn’t produce a good game of football.
“Our pitch is bigger and in really good condition so I think it will be a different game.
“Their opening goal came against the run of play and in the end two lapses of concentration cost us.
“We had our chances but we just didn’t take them.”