Buckie Thistle returned to winning ways with a convincing 3-1 victory over Forres Mechanics at Victoria Park.
First half goals from Marcus Goodall and Lewis MacKinnon put the home side in control, with Andrew MacAskill adding a third just after the break.
Ross Macpherson pulled one back for Forres with 15 minutes to go, but Buckie held on comfortably to take all three points.
Thistle got off to the perfect start when MacKinnon smashed a long ball forward that was latched onto by Goodall, and he finished coolly with a first time lob over Stuart Knight into the net.
The home side’s second came in the 17th minutes and it was a thing of beauty.
Max Barry played an excellent reverse pass into the feet of MacKinnon just inside the area, and he turned superbly to curl a sublime finish into the far right hand corner of the net.
The Jags were well on top now and another flowing move was almost finished by MacAskill, but his curling effort from the edge of the area flew just past the far post.
MacAskill made no mistake early in the second period, getting on the end of an excellent run and cutback from Goodall to curl home a third and surely clinching goal for Buckie.
Forres tried to hit back and won a penalty midway through the second half when Jack Murray was adjudged to have handled when sliding in to block an effort from Paul Brindle.
The former Brora man couldn’t take advantage though and blasted his penalty well over Kevin Main’s crossbar.
The vistors did pull one back with 18 minutes to go, a well worked move saw substitute and former Buckie player Craig Dorrat switch play well out to fellow sub Ross Paterson. His excellent delivery was headed into the far corner by MacPherson to reduce the deficit.
Forres huffed and puffed as they looked for a crucial second goal, but their only real effort of note was a stinging drive from 25 yards by Brindle that Main did well to push round the post.
Buckie saw the remaining minutes out clinch all three points and look forward to an intriguing clash with in form Inverurie Locos at the weekend.
Huntly 1-3 Nairn County
Nairn County kept up an impressive eight game unbeaten run at Christie Park with a 3-1 win at Huntly.
Nairn threatened in the opening minutes with Scott Davidson having a shot held by Euan Storrier after five minutes.
The visitors took the lead after ten minutes when a Ryan Fyffe header was partially cleared and Dylan MacKenzie fired in a low shot to break the deadlock.
Davidson came close to doubling the lead in the 28th minute only to be denied by Logan Johnstone at the near post.
49’ GOAL! Scott Davidson grabs his second and we lead 3-0!
Superb trickery by Seamus McConaghy out on the left leads to him delivering an in-swinging cross which is controlled by Davidson with his back to goal, he spins his man and slams the ball into the net! pic.twitter.com/OmLptrzjRh
— Nairn County FC (@NairnCounty) October 6, 2021
Sam Gordon threatened again down the right wing, picking out Davidson who drove low and wide.
Nairn doubled their lead just under two minutes into the second half when Davidson curled in a low free kick.
Three minutes later, Davidson added his second when he was given time to turn and fire a low shot inside the post.
In the 69th minute a switch from Reece McKeown picked out Alexander Jack whose effort was blocked by Dylan McLean at the near post.
Michael Clark came close to reducing the deficit when he saw a header cleared after the visitors failed to clear an Alexander Thoirs long throw.
Just into stoppage time a low cross from Thoirs was driven into the opposing goalmouth and was sliced into the net by Fyffe.
Thoirs nearly got on the scoresheet three minutes into stoppage time but MacLean denied the winger.