Nairn County made it five wins on the bounce thanks to a 4-0 victory against 10-man Inverurie Locos at Station Park.
The Wee County were given a helping hand when they were awarded two penalties either side of the interval.
Locos were left with a mountain to climb after Paul Coutts was sent off – a decision hotly disputed by the visitors.
County’s assistant manager David Hind said: “We are starting to build a bit of momentum now, that’s five wins on the trot.
“We had a tough start to the season – we only scored one goal in five games – you couldn’t see where a goal was coming from. But now that’s 22 in the last six – it’s testament to the boys.
“They’ve continued to work hard and now they are getting their reward. That performance was superb.
“It took as a while to get going after a hard game on Wednesday night.
“But once we did I think we outworked them. In the second half, the subs that came on really freshened things up and we started to create chances.”
— Nairn County FC (@NairnCounty) September 17, 2023
Nairn made the breakthrough in the 35th minute. Glen Donald handled an Angus Dey shot in the box and Conor Gethins headed home the rebound after Locos keeper Zack Ellis kept his initial effort out with his foot.
George Robesten looked certain to double the lead before the break but his goal-bound shot was cleared off the line by Mark Souter
The home side were awarded their second penalty of the match in the 67th minute.
Coutts handled in the box and the Locos player received his marching orders for a second booking. Gethins made no mistake this time blasting the ball into the right hand corner of the net.
Nairn finished the match on the front foot and Dey made it 3-0 via a wicked deflection in the 85th minute and Andrew MacLeod kept up his goal scoring run with his seventh goal of the season a couple of minutes later.
Locos boss Andy Low said: “I feel at 1-0 it was an even game. But we hadn’t done enough to be ahead, which was disappointing.
“We needed to do more to get back into it. But it all changed with the second penalty when Paul Coutts was sent off. It was never a penalty. It was a two-hand push in his back.
“He put his hands up to show the referee what had happened – I don’t see how it can be given as a penalty.
“But as a club we need to be better at that point.
“We should be coming up here and winning games of football – I think we did enough up until that point to go on and win the game.”
Turriff United 2-0 Forres Mechanics
Despite playing for 85 minutes with 10 men, Turriff United dug out a win against Forres Mechanics to sit sixth in the Breedon Highland League.
Max Foster was sent off for denying Callum Frame a goalscoring opportunity with only five minutes gone.
Forres were unable to turn their pressure into a goal in the first half and it was Turra who opened the scoring two minutes into the second period.
A well-flighted corner from the left by Callan Gray was met by a towering jump from Andrew Watt to put his team ahead.
Five minutes later Gray turned scorer with a free kick deep on the right curling round the wall and deceiving Lee Herbert at his left post.
Social media man of the match today!
Very close run thing as Jack McKenzie did a power of work today and took some pretty hefty challenges to boot, but in the end a pinpoint assist and a pinpoint finish aswell as putting a shift in..has to go to Booboo! pic.twitter.com/zxss22TG0b
— Turriff United Football Club (@TurriffUnitedFC) September 16, 2023
There was another chance for the hosts with Murray Cormack header bouncing off the top of the crossbar.
Turra boss Dean Donaldson said: “To a man I felt the team played really well but if we had lost a goal in that first half it could have been a different outcome.
“We got them in at half time, worked on the shape and they stuck to their task.
“We did sit back and defend but in training we work a lot on counter attacking and even being a player down doesn’t affect us as we’re very good on the break.”
Forres boss Steven MacDonald said: “We didn’t create enough and use the numerical advantage. The heads went down after the second goal.”