Despite seemingly coasting to victory with a three goal lead just after the break, Inverurie Locos were pushed hard by a dogged Rothes side which almost fought back for a share of the spoils, the match finishing 3-2.
The home side made a swift start, Martin Laing in his first start showing great persistence to break the deadlock inside two minutes.
The link up play between Martin Bavidge and Dean Donaldson allowed Laing the space to accept at the edge of the box. After his first shot was spilled by Ricky Horne, Laing charged down the loose ball before tapping in from close range.
The lead was doubled in the 15th minute, the quick feet of Laing proved too much for Brett Mitchell as the Rothes man clumsily impeded the new signing just inside the box.
Martin Bavidge coolly accepted responsibility, sending his shot down the middle of the goal.
Then it was a long Greg Mitchell pass to the chest of Bavidge. Veering to the right flank then cutting into the box, Bavidge played in an eager Dean Donaldson, whose shot went straight into the hands of Horne.
The Speysiders came close to reducing the deficit as veteran Donald Horsburgh tried his luck from the edge of the box, forcing Scott Mathieson to produce a low save on the stretch to push the ball wide of goal.
Towards half-time a well constructed move ended with Donaldson knocking home but the flag had gone up for offside.
Young Ryan Keir was on as a half-time substitute for Donaldson and within three minutes had scored.
Running in to meet a corner, Keir took the ball at the front post, firing high into the roof of the net at the second attempt.
Complacency set in, Callum McIntosh drawing Scott Mathieson off his goal line before rounding the keeper and calmly rolling the ball into the empty net for what at that stage seemed a consolation goal.
Growing in confidence, Rab Mulheron’s side grabbed another goal with seven minutes to go, Ryan MacLeod appearing to get the vital touch among a ruck of players to force the ball home off the far post.
Rothes could have sealed their incredible comeback in the 92nd minute as Horsbrough guided a close range header over the cross bar from six yards.
Inverurie Locos: Mathieson, Mitchell, Maitland, Young, Anderson, Michie, Leyden (Crisp 88), McLean, Donaldson (Keir 48), Bavidge, Laing. Substitutes: Begg, McNamee, Coull, Reid.
Rothes: Horne, Lamberton, Ewen (Corbett 60), Gallacher, Thomson (Macleod 80), Dunn, McIntosh, Mair, MacMillan, Mitchell (Winton 44), Horsburgh. Substiutes: MacKinnon, Mackay, Raig Lambie, Ferguson.
Referee: A Frew
This Saturday Locos are away to Strathspey Thistle, now the bottom side after their 5-0 loss at Turriff Utd. Kick off in Grantown is at 3pm.