Formartine United dropped from top spot into second place in the Breedon Highland League following a 2-1 defeat at Banks o’ Dee.
Dee co-manager Paul Lawson, formerly of the Pitmedden side, was delighted to be in the winning corner at the end.
He said: “Both teams went for it and it was a really good game.
“We knew Formartine would cause us problems and they did so right to the very end.
“Credit to our players, I thought they were excellent.
“We’re delighted with the three points from what’s always a difficult fixture.
“Formartine are not at the top by chance but we looked dangerous on the counter and had chances ourselves to put the game away.
“Our back four defended really well in the second half.
“We had lost our shape a wee bit and that invited them on to us but it certainly wasn’t a backs to wall performance. We defended well and attacked well.”
Golding struck early for Dee
The opening goal went to Dee in 14 minutes after a short sustained spell of pressure around the box.
The ball fell perfectly for Cove Rangers loanee forward Dayshonne Golding who wasted no time in despatching into the corner past Ewen Macdonald.
At the other end, on loan Aberdeen left winger Adam Emslie showed great trickery before forcing Daniel Hoban to tip his shot on to the post and out for a corner.
Formartine had worked their way into the game and levelled it up in 35 minutes when Marc Lawrence converted a rebound after Hoban had done well at full stretch to keep out a downward header.
The winner came in the 50th minute when right back Ramsay Davidson delivered the perfect cross between two central defenders for striker Lachie MacLeod to head home.
It could have been a third late on but a shot from substitute Chris Antoniazzi came off the post.
Thomas on the comeback trail for Formartine
Formartine boss Stuart Anderson was looking for a positive result ahead of his team’s trip to Falkirk on Scottish Cup duty but it was not to be.
He said: “We’re looking to win every week but there wasn’t much in the game.
“I was disappointed with the first goal we lost while for the second one their forward looked offside.
“I wasn’t too disappointed with the performance but I just felt we lacked that little bit of killer touch we’ve shown in previous games.
“But a real positive was getting some game time for defender Ryan Thomas after his injury absence. He will be in contention for Saturday’s big game.”
Brora cruise to victory against Huntly
Brora Rangers moved up to fifth with a 3-0 win over Huntly at Dudgeon Park.
It was a sixth straight home win for the Cattachs with player-manager Ally MacDonald pleased with the display from his side.
He said: “It was a very good performance; we moved the ball about well creating good opportunities showing some really quality at times.
“The players we’ve got are going to create opportunities and Jordan MacRae showed that while the second goal was a great run from Tony (Dingwall) to win the penalty.
“All round it was all plus points for every player. I don’t think Huntly had too many answers for us and it took Logan (Ross) about 80 minutes to make a save.
“Huntly have been playing well and we planned to stop their wingers getting on the ball and our plan went well.”
Three goals in an hour put hosts in control
After much early pressure, Brora took the lead midway through the first half with MacRae turning in from close range.
Tony Dingwall was causing problems for the visiting defence and after a mazy run, he was taken down for a penalty by Alexander Thoirs on 38 minutes. MacRae fired in high from the spot to make it 18 goals in as many games.
Brora added a third after 55 minutes. A corner was cleared back out to Tony Dingwall who struck a low drive through a packed penalty area.
Logan Ross was rarely troubled in the home goal but was called into action in the 82nd minute turning a Michael Dangana shot round the post.
Ross would again pull off another good stop in the dying minutes keeping out another Dangana effort.
Huntly have not won at Dudgeon Park since February 2011 and manager Allan Hale had no complaints.
He said: “It was a deserved defeat and that’s putting it mildly.
“The first half performance was way below the level our players have previously hit and certainly not one I’ll accept as a manager.
“We were too passive, didn’t want to compete and made a good team look like a really good team.”