Aidan Wilson’s second half goal was enough to give Rothes all three points in an end-to-end encounter against Forres Mechanics at Mosset Park.
There were chances aplenty at both ends, but some heroic Rothes defending and Wilson’s goal on 79 minutes proved pivotal as the Speysiders won 1-0.
Rothes manager Ross Jack said: “Forres were on top first half and we were on top second half.
“We had to work extremely hard for it. We kept believing we would get a chance and we just had to take it.
“I’m delighted with another clean sheet and three points at a tough place to come.”
Forres had a big chance on 13 minutes when Gregor MacDonald’s first-time effort came back off the post before Ethan Cairns squared the ball for Shaun Morrison – but the striker somehow couldn’t turn home from close range.
Rothes were a threat from corners and almost went ahead when Charlie Macdonald nodded wide from inside the six-yard box on 35 minutes.
The hosts had the first chance of the second period when a lovely through ball from Craig Mackenzie found Shaun Morrison, but his shot to the near post was turned wide by McCarthy.
At the other end Greg Morrison was unfortunate to see his delicate clipped finish come back off the inside of the post after a charging run through the heart of the Forres defence.
The Cans should have been ahead on the hour mark but were denied by an incredible piece of defending by Callum Haspell.
Shaun Morrison raced away from Michael Finnis down the right and shot at McCarthy. His parry could only find the on-rushing Cairns, but his blast from eight yards was blocked over his own crossbar by Haspell.
Having survived at one end, Rothes should have gone ahead at the other moments later.
Morrison’s drilled cross from the left was met by Jake Thomson but he was denied by a fantastic smothering save from Lee Herbert, before he got up and blocked the rebound from Gary Kerr.
— ForresMechanics F.C. (@TheCansOfficial) November 25, 2023
Herbert had no hope for the Rothes goal 10 minutes from time as Morrison’s driven cross was turned in by Wilson at the back post to give the visitors the win.
Forres boss Steven MacDonald said: “The performance was really good and we have got nothing from it again. It’s painful.
“We are playing well but you need that finishing product.”
Lossiemouth 5-3 Clachnacuddin
Despite storming into a four goal lead within twenty minutes, Lossiemouth had to fight off a strong Clach comeback before finally making sure of the points with a decisive fifth goal in the 90th minute.
Liam Archibald put the home side ahead in the ninth minute before three minutes later Ryan Stuart hit a brace in the space of 90 seconds to put Lossie three ahead.
Things got worse for the visitors as they went four behind with a Ross Morrison strike in the 20th minute.
Callum Ferguson pulled one back with a diving header nine minutes later before player-manager Conor Gethins scored his first goal for his new club with a close-range finish eight minutes after the restart.
Clach keeper Daniel Rae made two superb stops to keep his side still in with a chance before the fat was in the fire with seven minutes remaining as Dylan MacKenzie reduced the home side’s arrears to one.
However Ryan Farquhar ended the challenge as he capitalised on poor defending to slide home number five in the final minute.
Early goals from Liam Archibald, Ryan Stuart (2) and Ross Morrison and a late effort from Ryan Farquhar land Lossie all three points. pic.twitter.com/EDNNveznc9
— Lossiemouth FC (@lossiemouthfc) November 25, 2023
Lossiemouth manager Frank McGettrick said: “I am delighted to get the points but Clach have to get credit for the way they came back. It was a nervy ending.”
Clach manager Conor Gethins said: “I feel I have been too nice as we try to sort the problems the club have had.
“Over the past seven days we have scored seven goals (following the previous week’s 4-4 draw against Strathspey) and only claimed one point so you can see what is required.
“It is not acceptable and enough is enough. The boys need to understand that and if you don’t perform from now on you will not be playing.
“Perhaps today showed me who is willing to do that and although we lost I feel we were the better team on the day after losing the four goals in 20 minutes which is a disgrace.”
Huntly 1-3 Banks o’ Dee
First half goals from Lachie MacLeod (2) and Dayshonne Golding helped Banks o’ Dee to a 3-1 win at Huntly.
It’s six games unbeaten for the Aberdeen side and co-manager Paul Lawson was pleased to see his side get off to a good start with three goals in a 17-minute spell.
He said: “I thought we were outstanding for about 44 minutes. I said to the players at half-time one lapse of concentration can give away a goal.
“The second half was very scrappy.
“We didn’t have to chase the game and credit to our back four they were outstanding again and over the piece I’m very happy.”
Lachie MacLeod took his tally for the season to 13 goals with Lawson pleased the contribution from his attacking players.
He added: “He took the first one really well. The second was a great ball from Ramsay Davidson and we were able to spring a counter attack from a corner for the third.”
Two quick goals put the visitors in front. With 14 minutes gone, Lachie MacLeod beat Fraser Hobday to the ball on the edge of the box and slid in to prod in the opening goal.
A minute later, the home defence were looking for an offside flag before Lachie MacLeod got on the end of a Ramsay Davidson long pass and lifted a shot over the head of Hobday.
Banks O Dee FC 3 Huntly FC 1 pic.twitter.com/yzFc4VHqtu
— Banks o' Dee FC (@banksodee_fc) November 25, 2023
The visitors made it three after the half-hour mark when Daniel Hoban played upfield from a corner to Dayshonne Golding who evaded three challenges before tucking the ball in at the near post making it three goals in as many games.
Huntly hit back with three minutes of the half remaining. Ross Still found Andrew Hunter whose initial shot was blocked before firing in his 13th of the campaign.
Huntly manager Allan Hale said: “They were really poor goals to give away and that’s the frustrating thing.
“They were really basic goals with a lack of communication and it was simple for Banks o’ Dee to score.
“We were better in the second half but it was scrappier than what I wanted it to be.
“We had our moments and two chances where their keeper has pulled off saves.”