Inverurie Locos remain in fifth position in the table, eight points away from new league leaders Brora Rangers after a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Wick Academy.
The match was played in great spirit at Harmsworth Park, not one of Locos happy hunting grounds.
It was the visitors who threatened first, Martin Bavidge’s attempted chip over Michael Gray clearing the goalkeeper’s crossbar only narrowly.
At the other end dangerman Richard MacAdie saw a right foot shot go narrowly wide of Andy Reid’s left post.
It was a case of ball bobbling about in the Locos box in 26 minutes before skipper Sam Mackay stepped in to send an unstoppable shot past Reid. The lead may well have been doubled when Kieran Adams almost headed over his own goal line.
In the 39th minute the scores were all square and a great equaliser from Captain Marvel Neil McLean.
The ball was played across the box, Nacho sending his sweetly struck right foot shot in off the post.
Not to be outdone the fellow league challengers went back in front before the interval. Midfielder Steven Cunningham did all the spadework, Reid’s save rebounding back to him, his next effort coming off the post for Ross Allan to tap home from close range.
The second half was played in driving rain, Andy Hunter first to try his luck, Gray making a good save.
The scores were all square thanks to Neil McLean again. Another great right foot strike, fully 22 yards out, the ex-Scottish semi-pro not picked up and scoring with another impressive shot.
It was anyone’s game, MacAdie’s effort coming off the bar at the midway point. But Locos take tremendous credit for playing great football, much better than the first half of an encounter that could have gone either way.
After the match co-boss Kenny Coull said: “We have to be realistic and say we’re happy to come away from Caithness with a draw as it’s a place we’ve often struggled at in the past and you have to defend well for long spells.
“We can only blame ourselves for getting into a position where we’re behind but a lot of credit for the comeback goes to Neil McLean. His two goals were very similar, both from around 20 yards and low into the net.
“At half time and a goal behind we told the players it had not been acceptable, we’d shown Wick too much respect but I have to say they were very good in the second half, performing much better.”
Wick Academy: Gray, M Steven, Manson, Farquhar, G Steven, Shearer, Mackay, Cunningham, Geruzel, Macadie, R Allan. Subs: Weir, Sinclair, McKiddie, Lamb, More.
Inverurie Locos: Reid, McLean, Forsyth, Begg (Young), Adams, Anderson, Maitland, Broadhurst, Hunter(Souter), Bavidge, Donaldson. Subs: Michie, Coull, Mathieson.
This Saturday Strathspey Thistle are the visitors to Harlaw Park. Kick off is 3pm.