BUCKIE Thistle warmed up for Wednesday night’s Aberdeenshire Cup semi with a 3-1 league success at Rothes.
Jags boss Gary Hake hopes the momentum of three straight wins for his team will serve them well when they take on Formartine United in midweek.
“There’s no bigger game to go into and try to keep that momentum going than a semi-final,” he said. “I’d be delighted if I could take the club into a second final in such a short space of time.
“It was tough here against Rothes but we knew it would be. We just had to get the three points, that’s what we came here for and that’s what we got.”
Hake was without regular keeper Kevin Main, who was at a wedding, while skipper Lewis Mackinnon is out with a knee injury.
Stand-in goalie Darren Strong produced an outstanding save to deny Rothes midfielder Paul Winton, before Andrzej Kleczkowski fired into the roof of the net to put Jags ahead on 43 minutes.
Rothes, with four new signings in their squad, fought back into the contest and deservedly levelled when Joao Rodrigues converted a Winton pass on 65 minutes.
Winton then had a penalty claim rejected and Buckie broke to the other end for Liam Baxter to nod the ball back for Donnie Munro to head home.
Ten minutes from time Buckie sub Andy Low scored a fine solo effort to clinch the points for the visitors.
Rothes boss Rab Mulheron started with new signings Sean McKay, Donald Horsburgh and Cove Rangers loan midfielder Ryan Stewart, with another new face Lewis Mackay on the bench.
His gamble on the fitness of skipper Michael Dunn failed when the stopper limped off after 15 minutes, but the manager was pleased with the performance of his new-look side.
“You’ve got to remember we had four new faces in there and they still have to gel in, but I thought they did well.
“I’m delighted with the work rate yet again and it’s a game I felt we should have won.”
Elsewhere in the Highland League, Forres Mechanics made it five wins in a row with a thumping 6-0 home success over Huntly.
Kris Duncan got the Cans up and running with a goal in the first minute and added a second, with Lee Fraser, new signing Dachi Khutsishvili and sub Ross Archibald (2) completing the romp over the league’s bottom team.
Lossiemouth were on the receiving end of a 7-0 home pasting at the hands of Inverurie Locos.
Locos David Ross netted four goals in the first half as the Aberdeenshire men ran riot.
Keith suffered their heaviest loss of the campaign, a 6-1 defeat at Nairn County with Stuart Massie getting their only goal.
Title favourites Brora Rangers dropped their first points of the season in a 1-1 draw with Formartine, while leaders Fraserburgh lost 3-2 at Wick.
Turriff won 5-1 at Fort William, Clach and Deveronvale drew 1-1 while Cove were 6-1 winners at Strathspey.