JOAO Rodrigues grabbed a double for Rothes but it was not enough to stop the Speysiders slipping to defeat at home to Clach.
Ian Polworth's side made it five wins on the bounce at Mackessack Park.
Kyle Whyte headed the visitors into an early lead.
However, either side of that goal Rothes missed two gilt-edged chances when Sean McIntosh failed to find the target with just the keeper to beat.
Paul Brindle made them pay for those missed opportunities with a headed second for Clach, with Ricky Horne caught in no-man's land.
Rothes had loud appeals for a penalty waved away just before half-time when Andrew Skinner barged into Callum McIntosh inside the box.
The Speysiders made a great start to the second half and within five minutes Rodrigues got them back into the game.
A long kick out from goalkeeper Horne caught out the Clach defence and Rodrigues kept his cool to slot the ball beyond John Campbell.
However, Rothes' concentration slipped two minutes later when Martin Laing played in Scott Graham and he had too much time and space inside the box to fire past Horne.
And on 56 minutes the alarm bells started to ring for the home fans when Whyte cut in from the left wing and beat two players before firing into the net.
To Rothes' credit, instead of throwing in the towel, they rolled up their sleeves and weathered an intense period of Clach pressure.
Rodrigues grabbed a second when James Ross' terffic through ball gave him the chance to beat Campbell to the ball and roll it across the line.
Clach looked susceptible to the ball over the top of their defence and Rodrigues arguably missed an easier chance to claim his hat-trick when Ben Stewart's free kick into the box was missed by the Clach defenders.
At the other end Stuart Thomson headed a Scott Graham effort off the line.
Rothes boss Graeme Roy said: "The last 25 minutes was good for us because we competed with them but overall it was still not good enough.
"In terms of chances, we created as much as them but did not take them.
"We have got to take the positives out of it. All credit to the lads because we kept going right to the end."
Roy praised the contribution of goalscorer Rodrigues.
"He has been sitting on the fringes waiting for his chance and he took it today. He was probably one of the shining lights in the team performance today."
Rothes: Horne, Stewart, Thomson, Gallagher, Shortreed, Forbes, C. McIntosh, Presly (Smith 70), S. McIntosh (Ramsay 59), Rodrigues, Ross. Not used: Corbett, Lambie, Ferguson.
Elsewhere, www.hflhub.com reported how Brora Rangers retained a four-point lead at the top of the Highland League, with a hard-earned 2-1 victory away to Inverurie Locos. Zander Sutherland's early strike was cancelled out by Neil Gauld, with Sutherland netting the winning goal midway through the second-half.
Nairn County produced a late comeback to beatTurriff United, who went 2-0 ahead on 74 minutes when Gary McGowan added to Gary Harris' opener.
Goals from Robbie Duncanson, Michael Morrison and substitute Archie MacPhee in the final 15 minutes earned a win for Nairn.
Forres Mechanics came from 2-0 down at home to Wick Academy to earn a point.
Goals from Gary Weir and Lukasz Geruzel put Wick ahead, before Kris Duncan and Simon Allan replied for the Can-Cans. Forred held on for a point despite having Scott Moore sent off.
Fraserburgh came out on top in a five-goal thriller against Strathspey Thistle at Seafield Park. Scott Barbour had twice seen his goals cancelled out by John Ross and Garry Kerr who netted for the Jags, however William West grabbed the winning goal in the second-half.