Buckie Thistle leapfrogged Inverurie Locos into second spot in the Breedon Highland League table after a convincing 4-0 victory against Formartine United.
Jags’ midfielder Andy MacAskill produced a man of the match performance which included two superb goals from the edge of the box.
Buckie boss Graeme Stewart said “I thought we were outstanding, probably our best performance of the season, although there has been a lot of good ones.
“We totally controlled the game, we dominated possession and created the majority of the chances.
“I’m maybe being greedy but I thought we might have scored a couple more.
“It’s the sign of a good team that we scored both a minute before half-time and a minute after the restart but give the boys credit, they keep going right to the end.”
Formartine handed a debut to new signing from Montrose, midfielder Chris Antoniazzi.
In the 13th minute, Buckie were awarded a penalty kick when Marcus Goodall was tripped in the box by Andrew Paterson and referee Lee Robertson pointed to the spot.
Sam Urquhart sent Ewen MacDonald the wrong way from the spot although United players surrounded the referee claiming that Urquhart slipped as he shot, resulting in a double-hit.
United were dealt a blow in the 36th minute when striker Scott Lisle hobbled off with Jordan Lynch coming off the bench to replace him.
On the stroke of half-time, Buckie doubled their advantage when Andy MacAskill gave MacDonald no chance with a blistering 18-yard low drive after the midfielder played a neat one-two with Sam Urquhart.
And a minute into the second half the home side made it 2-0 when the ball broke to Goodall at the back post and he rifled home a rising drive from six yards.
MacAskill’s first goal was a fine strike but his second in th 56th minute was even better, curling home from just outside the box into the top corner after Kevin Fraser nodded the ball down into path of the impressive midfielder.
Things turned from bad to worse for the visitors with 20 minutes to go when both manager Paul Lawson and his assistant Russell Anderson were shown red cards by referee Robertson and had to vacate the technical area.
Lawson said: “It’s very disappointing when you lose a goal at the times we did, just before and just after half-time.
“But the penalty was very dubious, it hit the boy’s left foot before it went in and that was especially frustrating on a day when there were some strange decisions for both sides.
“Had we gone in at 1-0 at the break we were certainly still in the game, but to lose that goal in the last minute of the first half was always going to make it that bit harder.”
Lossiemouth 0-0 Forres Mechanics
Lossiemouth and Forres Mechanics had to settle for a share of the spoils in a Moray derby at Grant Park on a day when defences were on top.
The Can-Cans finished the match with only 10 players after defender Graham Fraser picking up a second booking with only a couple of minutes to play.
Lossie manager Joe Russell said: “A draw was about right but with home advantage we had hoped to take all three points.
“It was a bit of a weird game. We probably had more of the possession and I thought we were more dangerous but Forres had the better chances.
“We can be thankful that Lee Fraser missed two glorious ones which would have seen the Mechanics win the match.”
ALL OVER! GOALLESS! pic.twitter.com/TvCiH8H53T
— Lossiemouth FC (@lossiemouthfc) January 15, 2022
Forres assistant-manager Steven MacDonald was delighted with the performance of 17-year-old keeper Logan Morrison, who came off the bench to replace the injured Stuart Knight after just half an hour.
MacDonald said: “Stuart Knight has been missing for a few weeks, he started today but he was still worried about his calf injury, and when he went for a long ball his calf went again.
“But Logan came off the bench and did really well.
“He went on to keep a clean-sheet after being drafted into the squad this morning, that was the biggest positive for us on the day.
“I don’t think there was a lot of quality in the game but Lossiemouth worked really hard and definitely deserved their point.”