A closely-fought encounter at North Lodge Park ended with a narrow win for the home side as Formartine saw off rivals Inverurie Locos.
With several games in hand, United will be looking to close the gap on the three teams above them.
A serious shot at the title is probably beyond them but they will want to give a serious go at improving on their current fourth spot.
Locos came in to this local derby on the back of their 8-0 crushing at Brora the week before and still minus injured captain Neil McLean.
Understandably, the visitors played it tight early on as United took the game to them from the kick off.
Formartine continued to dominate without creating chances and indeed on the quarter hour it was Inverurie who went close.
First a Jordan Leyden shot that was saved and from the resulting corner kick Ryan Broadhurst headed the ball off the right hand post.
The home response was a shot by former Locos striker Neil Gauld well saved by Ryan Booth after 26 minutes and two minutes later at the other end a Dean Donaldson cross turned into a shot with Ewen Macdonald in the home goal forced into a spectacular leap backwards to touch the effort out for a corner.
Formartine really should have opened the scoring inside the first minute after the restart, a Stuart Anderson header tipped onto the crossbar by keeper Booth with Gauld someone heading wide from the rebound.
But two minutes later the home side did take the lead, Ryan Broadhurst bringing down Graeme Rodger with Paul Lawson making an immaculate job from the spot sending the keeper the wrong way.
After 54 minutes we were all square, Dean Donaldson chased a long ball forward and his lob over the advancing keeper was perfectly weighted and it was deservedly 1-1.
Those misses were to prove costly as Formartine regained the lead in the 71st minute, substitute Stuart Smith netting from six yards through a ruck of players.