Inverurie Locos boss Neil Cooper was delighted his side earned three points in a Friday night blockbuster against Deveronvale at Harlaw Park.
Locos now have two clean sheets on the spin after a slow start to the campaign due to defensive lapses.
Goals from Jamie Michie and Neil Gauld did the damage for the hosts which sees them keep up the pressure on the top four in the Highland League towards the latter end of the season.
Cooper said: “We dominated the game in terms of possession and we’re really pleased with the clean sheet, we defended well as a back four and as a team.
“It was two really good goals – Jamie Michie hit a superb free kick which I don’t think any goalkeeper could have saved and Neil Gauld’s goal was good as well. His movement’s good and he uses his body well to create the chance and he sticks the ball away.
“The pitch wasn’t the best in terms of passing the ball and it was a bit bobbly. You always get a difficult game against Deveronvale who are always a competitive outfit.
“The confidence is good, the players are working hard and the performances have been good as well.
“We want to finish the season as strongly as possible and pick up as much points as we can in the last seven games.”
The first real chance of the match arrived on 13 minutes with a Neil Gauld header which looked like sneaking past Deveronvale debutant Robbie Mutch, however the Inverurie-based goalkeeper gathered the ball.
Andy Hunter almost gave Locos the lead on 22 minutes with a volley straight from a corner but it went wide.
Inverurie took the lead just four minutes later with a sublime free kick from Jamie Michie, firing the ball from the right across Mutch and into the far top corner.
Gauld forced a save from Mutch on 35 minutes after turning his marker before firing at goal from 12 yards but Mutch was equal to the effort.
Just before half-time, it was 2-0 to Locos, with prolific forward Gauld finishing into the far corner from a tight angle on the right, Locos deserving of their 2-0 lead at the interval.
Vale had a good chance to reduce the leeway in the second half with a Michael Dunn header going over the bar while Matthew Wallace also had a volley for the Banffers on 65 minutes, hitting the side netting.