Formartine United kept up their pursuit of league leaders Cove Rangers with a 5-0 thumping of Forres Mechanics on Saturday.
A Scott Barbour double helped United to an impressive away victory which manager Kris Hunter felt was one of his side’s best performances of the season.
The Pitmedden side wasted no time in taking the lead, going in front in the third minute.
From a corner, Rodger chipped the ball back to Smith who made space before driving it home.
Formartine continued a high pressure pressing game and were clearly slicker than their hosts.
Masson and Anderson combined regularly and well to feed Gauld and Barbour ahead and there was fairly sustained pressure on the Forres rearguard.
The visitors doubled their lead in the 33rd minute when Masson set up Barbour to hammer the ball past Knight.
The Can-Cans tried to claw their way back into the game but were further adrift just before half-time.
A misplaced pass from Howard to Fraser was pounced on by Keith and he slipped the ball under the advancing Knight to make it 3-0.
and in a position to pick and choose their moments to attack.
The game as a spectacle began to fade somewhat in light of Formartine’s possession tactics and although under no pressure, they did not look like seriously extending their lead until after the substitutes came on.
They were in complete control of midfield and there was always the sense that Barbour, Gauld and Keith could burst into explosive action at any moment.
Gauld added a fourth in the 83rd minute and the rout was complete at the end when Keith moved the ball on to Barbour who claimed his second.
This was a highly competent Formartine performance and in the circumstances of their catalogue of injury woes demonstrated the depth of talent in the squad. To face Forres with a reduced squad is never easy but to do so and put five past them and keeping a clean sheet is a highly impressive achievement.
Forres Mechanics: Grant, Moore, L Fraser, Blacket, McPherson, McGovern, Jones, Fraser, Kutsisvilli, Finlayson, Substitutes: Howard, Baxter Anderson, McIver, Simpson.
Formartine United: Reid, Michie, Dingwall, Wood, Smith, Anderson, Rodger, Masson Keith, Gauld, Barbour. Substitutes: Bagshaw, Berton, Lawson, Booth, MacDonald.