Buckie Thistle manager Graeme Stewart praised his team for reaching the standards he expects after thrashing Formartine United 5-1.
After falling behind in the Breedon Highland League encounter at North Lodge Park the Jags produced a terrific comeback.
Boss Stewart was thrilled with the display from his charges, who sit second in the division.
He said: “It was a great result and the first was as good as we’ve played this season.
“But then we’ve played well in the last two games against Formartine and we’ve lost them both.
“When they scored first you’re thinking ‘not again’ but the guys reacted brilliantly.
“I was really pleased with the first half, especially after most of the guys started on Wednesday, I thought they were outstanding.
“The game was almost over at half-time and the second half goals topped it off, I’m delighted with the result.
“With the quality we’ve got that’s the standards I expect. We’ve won cups and leagues before, but this is the best squad I’ve had as manager at Buckie.
“Leaders in the team are coming forward, young players; Sam Morrison, Jack Murray, Max Barry, Mark McLauchin they are all young players coming to the fore.
“They’ve got great futures ahead of them and maybe at a higher level than Buckie.”
Jags are rampant
The visitors started brightly with Sam Urquhart twice going close in the opening exchanges.
But it was the home side who took the lead on 18 minutes with Andrew Greig finding space on the right flank and clipping in a cross for Scott Lisle who powered a header into the bottom left corner.
Buckie levelled seven minutes later with Andrew MacAskill’s curling left-footed cross from the right flank headed home by Kevin Fraser at the back post.
In the 28th minute the Jags went ahead. MacAskill’s corner from the right was flicked on by Sam Morrison and Kyle MacLeod sent a diving header into the net from close range.
Formartine goalkeeper Balint Demus made a good save soon after to deny Urquhart.
But Max Barry lashed home Buckie’s third from 18 yards on 43 minutes after MacAskill’s corner was only cleared to the edge of the box.
In the second period Lisle hit the base of the right post in the 55th minute following Stuart Smith’s marauding run down the left.
Shortly after the hour mark Buckie grabbed their fourth.
Barry broke in behind before laying the ball back for Mark McLauchlin to send a low shot into the bottom right corner from 20 yards.
United kept plugging away after falling three behind, but Thistle were in no mood to give anything away.
In injury time the Jags grabbed a fifth when Callum Murray rounded Demus before squaring the ball for Barry to finish into the unguarded net.
‘We didn’t deserve to win’
Formartine boss Paul Lawson said: “I’m very disappointed, it’s a tough one to take.
“We didn’t deserve to win, but the 5-1 scoreline is sore especially after losing to Brechin (4-1) in midweek.
“We’ve conceded nine goals in two games, I don’t know whether we deserve to lose all nine, but it can’t happen and we need to do something about it.
“We score a great goal. Scott did exactly what we asked him to do by getting in the box when Andrew Greig got down the side.
“It’s a great header and I didn’t think we grew from that which was disappointing.
“When Buckie equalised we lost the belief which is very disappointing.
“I know we’ve got a young group and it’s a big learning curve for them and we’ve had a lot of tough games recently.
“We’ve had a lot of games in the last few weeks and with the injuries we’ve got you’re asking almost the same 11 boys to play game after game and it’s hard and it’s maybe taken its toll.”