A Matthew Wright double earned Brora Rangers a deserved three points over fellow title-challengers Buckie Thistle at breezy Dudgeon Park on Saturday.
The unexpected defeat saw Buckie give up second spot in the table to Inverurie Locos while the reigning champions moved up into sixth spot with three valuable points.
Brora caretaker manager Craig Campbell was delighted with his side’s application.
He said: “I don’t think we played particularly well but it was a pretty gutsy performance and I thought we handled the physical side of things very well.
“I think it was a fair result as we created the better chances even though I did think Buckie were at one point in the first half getting on top of us in midfield.
“I made a tactical change and took Jordan MacRae off at half-time and brought on Max Ewan to go with three in the middle to match up.
“Matthew Wright showed good composure with his two finishes and we’re very pleased with him.”
Before kick-off there was a minute’s silence for lifelong Cattachs’ supporter and former committee member Stanley Ross who died recently at the age of 82.
Brora scored within 40 seconds when Wright cleverly lobbed Jags’ vastly experienced keeper Kevin Main leaving the visiting defenders staring at each other in disbelief.
At the other end Buckie responded with a 25-yard Andy MacAskill drive which was turned away by Joe Malin in the Brora goal.
In the 18th minute Main was again chasing back towards goal as a ball from the half-way line from Jordan MacRae landed a yard wide of the post.
Seven minutes from the break, home central defender Mark Nicolson was left unchallenged at the back at a corner kick but his downward header came off the outside of the post and trundled past for a goal kick.
In the 58th minute Jags’ striker Kyle MacLeod failed to connect with a through ball a couple of yards from goal and Malin gathered gratefully.
On the hour mark, Wright was again played through and from 12 yards he grabbed his second goal of the game, giving Main no chance with a well-placed drive into the far corner of the net.
— CORE (@coreltduk) September 12, 2021
Buckie boss Graeme Stewart said: “They probably did catch us cold with that opening goal within a minute of the kick-off and we didn’t start the game well.
“Now I wish I’d told the players to do something different in the first 15 minutes, maybe we should have been a bit more direct in the early stages to get us into the game.
“The pitch wasn’t great, it was a wee but bobbly but if we had gone one goal up I feel we would have gone on and won the game fairly comfortably.
“The second goal was crucial and again it came from a mistake by ourselves.
“I’ll take it on the chin for putting Callum Murray at right back, he’s not a right back and he got caught with a pass in between him and Sam Morrison.”