Formartine United recovered from their surprise midweek cup defeat to beat Lossiemouth 4-2 at North Lodge Park on Saturday.
They raced into a four-goal lead, but the red-carding of keeper Andy Shearer changed the game and United were glad to see it out.
Formartine still fail to close out games as well as title challengers normally do and again showed their repeated tendency to fade from an energetic, usually successful opening period to a fading, scrambling conclusion.
The home side took an early lead when in the fourth minute Duguid cut into the danger area on the back of a one-two with Munro before clipping the ball diagonally right to left across goal for Keith to slide in and direct it back across the line of the keeper and into the opposite corner of the net.
A second goal followed in the 19th minute when Watson was unable to grasp a chipped lob from the right side of the box by Anderson. As he spilled it, the terrier-like McVitie reacted first to find the net.
Formartine were in control and although Lossie grafted away, they were at this stage doing little more than chasing shadows as United seemed to be on their way to a comfortable, high margin win.
Into the second half and it was soon 3-0. Cammy Keith seemed to claim this one too. However, it looked more like an own goal by Flett. Both went for a rebound and Flett’s clearance appeared to hit off Keith and ended up in the net.
Three minutes into the second half and United were four up. They were encamped in and around the Lossie box and Anderson picked up an attempted clearance, spotted a gap and thundered home a shot from 20 yards.
Formartine should have been home and dry but when keeper Shearer was sent off for bringing down Miller outside the box, the Moray men sensed a comeback.
Goalkeeping coach Steve Doak took over and it was not long before he was picking the ball out of the net. Former Formartine player Bailey picked up a loose ball and drove it beyond Doak’s reach.
With seven minutes to go another period of Lossie pressure resulted in a second goal. A deflection came Bailey’s way on the left side of the box and his cross-cum-shot swerved over Doak and into the net.
A crazy game where errors by one keeper were offset by those of the other. Formartine showed both their strengths – superb when things are going their way - and their weaknesses including a marked tendency to fade in the second half.
Formartine United: Shearer, Duguid, Munro, McKeown, Hay, Clark, Dingwall, McVitie, Keith, Anderson, French. Substitutes: Napier,l Madle, Bagshaw, McKay, Smith, Doak.
Lossiemouth: Watson, Farquhar, Gordon, Hector, Flett, Scott, Miller, Duguid, Bailey, Green, Dunn. Substitutes: Mitchell, McBain, Trialist, Ross.