Formartine United defied a strong wind to overcome in-form Clach 3-1 at North Lodge Park on Saturday.
Over the piece, United adapted better to the conditions and after a rather pedestrian start began to put together enough well -constructed moves to comfortably dominate the Grant Street side.
The home side fielded a back four without left back Smith or centre back Campbell and in the absence of Hamill, who had deputised in the left back berth at Buckie, there was a hint of the makeshift about the combination of Munro, Jeffrey alongside McKeown in the centre, with midfielder McVitie at left back.
Playing with the wind Formartine were first to attack when Napier slipped the ball to Ewen, who was crowded out before he could control the ball.
United racked up six corners in the first 20 minutes and kept the ball in Clach territory for prolonged periods.
However, it took until the 44th minute for the home pressure to reap its reward. Anderson spotted a gap and struck the ball firmly beyond the reach of keeper Campbell.
United increased their lead 12 minutes into the second half when a late run by Park took him clear of his marker and his perfectly executed finish beat Campbell.
The Pitmedden side were beginning to find some of the form they had shown earlier in the season and added a third within the next quarter of an hour.
This time Cammy Keith burst through, drew the keeper and coolly finished from 15 yards.
The game was Formartine’s but the Inverness men kept plugging away and grabbed a consolation with six minutes left. Laing’s cross-cum-shot in the swirling wind deceived Shearer and landed in the net.
Formartine United: Shearer, Bagshaw, Munro, McKeown, Jeffrey, Anderson, Clark, McVitie, Park, Ewen, Napier. Substitutes: Dingwall, Keith, Mathers, Davidson, Calder.
Clachnacuddin: Campbell, Skinner, Finnis, Laing, McGurk, Scott-Woodhouse, Doran, Callum, Moran, Khutishvilli, Brindle. Substitutes: Dougal, MacDonald, Whyte, Maclean, Macdonald.