MONYMUSK have been left playing a waiting game on promotion from Division Three after a 4-0 defeat by league leaders Great Northern Athletic.
The home side needed at least a point to keep their hopes alive of a place in the top six which would guarantee a place in Division Two next season. Musk held the city side at bay for nearly an hour but then the breakthrough came for GNA and that was the catalyst for three more goals.
Monymusk will now finish the league in seventh position and, with at least one club folding during the season, are hoping that will be enough to see them go up.
Injury kept veteran central defender Phil Stewart out of the starting line-up for Monymusk and his place was taken by Andy Robertson. The home side started the game brightly with Jamie Mackie going close with a header from a corner soon after kick-off. Great Northern then had the ball in the net in 18 minutes but the referee blew for offside.
Good work by Ryan Sangster on the right gave Tony Forshaw a chance in the box on 24 minutes but a GNA defender produced a goal-saving block.
Musk had the visitors rattled now but just could not make their pressure count. The half ended with a Mackie cross just missed by Cruden but the Musk team trooped off the field well pleased with their performance in the first 45 against such a strong side.
Forshaw went close to getting the opening goal four minutes after the re-start with a low drive following a free kick but the GNA keepere, just got a finger tip to divert the ball for a corner.
Play was then held up as Ryan Sangster received a yellow card for his involvement in an altercation. This seemed to unsettle the home side and, against the run of play, Great Northern broke the deadlock in 58 minutes with a quick throw-in on the right which caught the Musk defence cold and the ball was knocked past keeper Mikey Fyffe.
Just four minutes later GNA scored again, this time a ball splitting the Musk defence and a player running on to beat Fyffe.
Monymusk tried to salvage something from the game and with 10 minutes left a great cross from Cruden gave Forshaw the best chance of the game but he was just wide of the target.
Two minutes later Fyffe brought off a great save and from the resultant corner the ball came back out to a GNA player who rifled a great shot high into the net to make it 3-0.
Great Northern added a fourth with minutes remaining.
Monymusk: Fyffe, Duthie, Lyon, Robertson (Beaton), Nicolson, Forsyth (Duncan), Mackie, Forshaw, Sangster (Doverty), Harkness, Cruden.
Unused subs: L Barron and Moir.
Monymusk travel to Balgownie on Saturday. May 19, to face BSFC in their final game of the season. Afterwards the club will be holding its annual presentation of awards in the Grant Arms Hotel, Monymusk.