A goal by captain Craig McKeown was enough to give Formartine United a 1-0 win over Fraserburgh at North Lodge Park on Saturday.
The victory puts United in joint second place with Nairn County, but 11 points adrift of runwaway leaders Brora Rangers.
Both sides had been boosted by big midweek wins but it was Formartine who controlled much of the play, although the Broch’s rugged defence gave little away.
The game was only three minutes old when some slick inter-passing initially between Clark and McVitie brought in Bagshaw to feed Stuart Anderson whose dipping shot was touched over by Leask.
Formartine continued to press and though they racked up a few corners, were unable to find a way through a well-drilled defence.
From one corner McKeown’s looping header landed on the roof of the net.
A Fowlie shot from the edge of the box flew past Shearer’s left upright and Mike Ewen had a couple of long-range trundlers taken by Leask.
Half-time came and went and the deadlock continued. The pattern of home pressure and visitor breakaways persisted and the spectre of a goal-less draw loomed. An hour had passed and there was little sign of either defence capitulating.
But the deadlock was finally broken in the 67th minute. An Anderson free kick found McKeown and the defender chested the ball down and lashed it past Leask.
United then had a scare when a Main free kick struck the crossbar before being cleared by Munro.
As the match ran down, Formartine looked increasingly in command and the team more likely to score, although Broch never stopped trying.
United’s run-in includes games against Brora, Cove, Wick and Nairn, but they can still finish with more points than last season.
Formartine United: Shearer, Bagshaw, Munro, McKeown, Jeffrey, Anderson, Clark, McVitie, Keith, Ewen, Park. Substitutes: Dingwall, Smith, Mathers, Davidson, Calder.
Fraserburgh: Leask, Cooper, McBride, Hay, Cowie, Chalmers, Thomson, West, Bruce, Noble, Fowlie. Substitutes: Willox, Johnstone, Clark, Main, Cowe.d