Ellon United shrugged aside a below-par first half performance to pick up three points in a narrow 1-0 win over Lewis United at The Meadows on Saturday.
The Aberdeen side dominated the first period, particularly in the early stages - but a goal seven minutes from time by Callum Dunbar secured the victory.
Lewis put Ellon under early pressure and it took over a quarter of an hour before the home side managed to pose any real threat when Steven Reid and Callum Dunbar combined to release Darren Bailey, but his final cross went behind.
Ellon wasted several promising moves by carelessly straying offside. Lewis continued to push forward without producing a cutting edge and the best chance fell to Ellon when Darren Bailey rose well to meet a cross from Jonathon Millsom, only to see his header flash over the bar.
With almost half an hour on the clock, Darren Bailey broke through a rash challenge and burst into the box, but the play was pulled up for a free kick which was wasted with an overhit cross.
The visitors might have been punished when Callum Dunbar managed to head a weak clearance into the path of Ryan Stewart but the striker opted to send an early ball across the face of the goal and with no one available to get forward quickly enough, he might have been better to take it on himself.
Ellon were at last beginning to show more threat going forward and a dangerous low cross from Darren Bailey flew across the goal area begging for a touch before Callum Steer was forced into a save five minutes before the break to keep the sides level.
Ellon took a better hold of the play on the restart but it was Lewis who came closest to opening the scoring midway through the half when Pirie met a corner but sent his header wide.
The home side made a change in the 71st minute with Willie Mathers replacing Darren Bailey on the left. Three minutes later Lewis came close with a shot which went behind off the foot of the post, although Callum Steer appeared to have the shot covered had it been on target.
Ellon responded with Ryan Stewart trying to place the ball beyond keeper Cheyne only to see his effort drift just wide of the post.
A minute later the same player was stopped in his tracks as he threatened to break through. The ball broke out wide to Willie Mathers whose shot through a ruck of players was deflected for a corner with Ellon claiming a penalty for the ball going behind off a defender’s arm.
The crucial goal arrived in the 83rd minute when Callum Dunbar anticipated the bounce from a long kick out by Callum Steer to time his run behind the Lewis defence and head the ball over the advancing keeper.
Lewis made a final push in the closing minutes but the home defence stood its ground.
Ellon United: Steer, Millsom, Jiohnston,. Whelan, Reid, Lawson, Annand, Bremner, Stewart, Dunbar, Bailey (Mathers), AQllsop, Goate, McNellis, Croll.
Lewis United: J Cheyne, P Cheyne, Ness, Stewart, Quinn, Crisp, Murray, Robertson, Pirie, McKinnon, Smith, Cook, Findlater, Valentine, Buchanan, Reith.
On Saturday, Ellon are at home to East Kilbride Thistle in the second round of the Fly Emirates Scottish Junior Cup. Kick off is at the later time of 2.30pm and as it is a Scottish Cup tie, season tickets will not be valid.
United will certainly have to be sharper out of the blocks to prevent the West of Scotland side taking advantage.