Huntly 2 Lossiemouth 1: Black and Golds edge to win
HUNTLY made it three Highland League home wins in a row after defeating Lossiemouth 2-1 at Christie Park on Saturday.
After defeating Buckie Thistle and Turriff United in league action, the Black and Golds were made to work hard for the three points against Lossie.
Manager Martin Skinner said: "It wasn't a good game and we looked like a team who had played three games in a week.
"There was moments of quality in the game. Lossie had chances as well but I'm pleased for the boys to get the win – it's good for them."
The Coasters started quickly and Ross Elliott was denied by Huntly's on loan Forres Mechanics keeper Euan Storrier after 90 seconds.
Elliott just missed a ball in from the left from Brodie Allen on nine minutes as Lossie went close again – but it was Huntly that took the lead.
18-year-old Nathan Meres, on loan from Cove Rangers, fired in a first time effort after good pressing from Paul Esslemont forced Lossie captain Liam Archibald into a mistake.
The visitors sprung straight back into action, though, and Fraser Forbes was unfortunate to see his effort crash off the woodwork just two minutes later.
Coasters fans were tricked into celebrating after half an hour as Ryan Sewell's perfect through pass was knocked an inch wide of the right post by the lively Elliott.
Forbes almost scored shortly before half-time but his weak volley rolled wide from close range – and Storrier then had to be alert to deny Elliott in a one-on-one situation just a minute later.
However, a goal that was coming for Lossie finally arrived on the stroke of the break, albeit in controversial fashion.
Bradley Manson appeared to be fouled by Elliott but nothing was given and Forbes raced through to hammer home the equaliser from just inside the box.
The first half provided plenty of attacking, chance-filled football. The second did not.
Huntly had the better of it and retook the lead on 55 minutes through Declan Milne. Paul Esslemont played the ball left for Nathan Meres and his drilled cross found Milne to tap in from six yards.
Meres himself knocked in from close range two minutes later but the flag went up for offside.
Connor McCauley came off the bench and made himself the pantomime villain at Christie Park. His cynical foul on Meres brought him a yellow card, with the two dugouts then clashing on the sidelines.
And that kicked off a flurry of fouls. Lossie were particularly unhappy with Huntly captain Ross Still's foul on Liam Archibald, for which he was booked.
The best of the last five minutes went to Lossie. Kevin Flett struck an inch wide from the edge of the box on 86 minutes and, with almost the last play of the game, Elliott stumbled when one-on-one to ensure Huntly picked up a narrow success.
Lossiemouth manager Joe Russell said: "When you look at the chances we have created, certainly in the first half we created four or five glorious chances, we should have been out of sight.
"We didn't have the quality to take the chances and that's the frustrating thing."