Fraserburgh manager Mark Cowie says they’ve got 11 cup finals left in their pursuit of Breedon Highland League title glory.
The Broch defeated Lossiemouth 3-1 at Grant Park on Saturday to move three points clear of closest challengers Buckie Thistle and five ahead of Brora Rangers in third.
With the Jags out of action this was Fraserburgh’s game in hand and they managed to make the most of it.
Cowie said: “The most important thing was the three points and we’ve managed to get that and take advantage of our game in hand which is good.
“We know there’s a fixture pile-up and we didn’t want another weekend with a game off so it was good the game was on.
“We’ve got a job to do, we don’t look anywhere else but ourselves. Folk are getting bored of me saying it but it’s just a case of one game at a time and looking after ourselves.
“Up until now we’re doing OK, there’s a really tough spell to come, we’ve got 11 cup finals to come as well as hopefully a few games in the Highland League Cup.
“Everybody says stuff about being under the radar and not looking at the table, but everyone wants to be top, as a manager I can tell you that.
“We’re under no illusions that the teams below us want to be in our position and we have to turn up every game.”
Lossie pushed the leaders
Although Fraserburgh won, they were pushed all the way by Lossiemouth who were disciplined and hard-working.
Cowie added: “We’re at the stage of the season where results are the most important thing.
“We had the majority of the game, but Lossie caused us problems.
“I don’t think we put them under enough pressure defensively, their two centre-halves were good, but I thought we could have got in behind them more.
“As a player and a manager I’ve never won comfortably at Lossiemouth, every game is tough.”
Fraserburgh made the perfect start by taking the lead after three minutes.
Scott Barbour broke clear on the right and when Liam Archibald attempted to clear Barbour’s cross it cannoned off Logan Watt and trundled into the left corner.
The Broch doubled their lead in the 28th minute when referee Kevin Buchanan awarded them an indirect free-kick on the edge of the area for high feet.
Even though the incident appeared to inside the box it didn’t matter as Barbour fired into the bottom left corner.
The home side weren’t seen too often as an attacking force in the first period, but they levelled in spectacular fashion just before the hour mark.
Goalkeeper Paul Leask rushed out to head away a through ball, but Ryan Farquhar collected it and lobbed the backtracking custodian with a fantastic finish from 35 yards.
After conceding the visitors were under pressure and the Coasters remained in the contest until the dying embers.
But in the 90th minute the Broch secured the points when Ross Aitken, Paul Young and Barbour combined on the right to tee up substitute Sean Butcher and his finish from 12 yards was clinical.
Lossie assistant manager Ian Campbell said: “I thought we were a bit unfortunate to lose 3-1, maybe 2-1 would have been a fairer result, the boys battled away.
“With the first goal we were quite unlucky, it was cleared and hit a player and went in.
“I’m not sure what happened with the decision for the second goal, but we’ll have to let that go.
“At 2-0 we were still in the game, the players kept their shape and did really well in the second half.”
Campbell was pleased with the contribution of goalscorer Farquhar. The former Elgin City, Forres Mechanics and Deveronvale man returned to Lossie in August.
Campbell added: “Ryan scored a great goal and I think we had them rocking a wee bit.
“Ryan’s a local boy and I’ve always been in touch with Ryan and wishing him well wherever he was playing.
“But coming back to the club he had a bit of a slow start, but he’s getting better and better.
“He scored a great goal against Deveronvale and another this time, you saw his quality not just the goal, but in general play.”