Charlie Rowley thanked the Forres Mechanics fans after ending his time as manager with a 2-1 GPH Builders Merchants Highland League win over Turriff United.
Rowley has served the Can-Cans for 20 years as player, coach and manager and secured victory at Mosset Park in his last game as boss following 11-and-a-half years in charge.
The Forres fans turned out in numbers to show their appreciation for Rowley.
He said: “I was emotional. I received a very nice send-off and a couple of presentations and it was a very proud day for me and my family.
“I think the fans gave me their thanks for the commitment and loyalty I’ve shown to the club over the years.
“I managed to win the fans their second league title and it was really nice of them to turn out and give me a send off.
“It was a tough 90 minutes, Turriff played well and were arguably the better team, but our experience probably told in the end and we managed to get through which is what it’s about in cup games.
“The main objective was to win the game and we managed to do that and hopefully we get a favourable draw in the next round and can progress further.”
Lee Fraser put Forres ahead in the first half, but Jordan Cooper’s 54th minute equaliser for Turriff set up an exciting finale, however, Robbie Duncanson grabbed the winner for the Can-Cans on 88 minutes.
United boss Dean Donaldson said: “When you lose a goal in the 88th minute it’s a sore one, we just need to be a little bit more streetwise to not allow that to happen.
“I’m disappointed with the result but I’m not disappointed with the performance because it was good.”
Clach 1-0 Strathspey
Clachnacuddin manager Jordan MacDonald is all too aware his side will not be the only team aiming to win the Highland League Cup following their 1-0 win over Strathspey Thistle.
The Lilywhites secured a spot into the second-round courtesy of their captain Martin Callum as they hosted Thistle at Grant Street Park.
Neither side created many goalscoring opportunities during the first half, but Clach had the better of the two in the second.
Now boss MacDonald is hoping they can go all the way despite the tough competition.
“We will not be the only team saying this, everyone that is still in the cup will be saying it,” he added.
“However, we have shown this year – with the strides we have made – we can give anyone a game when we are on it.
“That is what makes us believe, it is a cup competition, anything can happen, the players have got a belief and that is the main thing.
“We will take each game as it comes and just hope we get a home tie.”
The first real chance of the match came in the first 10 minutes of the second 45 when Lewis Nicolson capitalised on a mistake from Strathspey’s Christopher Innes.
The Caley Thistle loanee was left one on one with the keeper, but his shot went narrowly wide of Michael MacCallum’s post.
Five minutes later, the Jags’ Cameron Lisle thread the ball through for his teammate Kris Duncan, but the latter couldn’t make the connection.
Clach eventually found the back of the net with 15 minutes to go as Callum fired home from the resulting corner.
Things then went from bad to worse for Strathspey who went down to 10 men in the 88th minute after Stephen Rennie received a second yellow for aiming the ball towards a Clach player.
Jags boss Charlie Brown said their focus is now on their upcoming fixtures against teams around them in the Highland League.
He added: “The league is the most important this season, a run in the cup is great for any team but for us, it’s about climbing up the table.
“I know for a fact my players have the ability to pick up points and we need to do that against teams around about us.
“After Inverurie (next week) we have five games where we can hopefully pick up points from.”