A STUNNING strike by Scott Lawrie secured Forres Mechanics' eighth win in nine games.
The Mechanics had to battle hard to overcome an impressive Clach side at Mosset Park.
And it was Lawrie's superb 30 yard effort before the break which sealed a 2-1 win against the men from Inverness.
Clach had levelled just 30 seconds earlier when Sean Ellis headed past Stuart Knight.
Forres had gone ahead 16 minutes before the break when Craig McGovern's inviting cross was headed home by Kyle Scott.
Struggling Clach belied their lowly league position with a confident performance and dominated a lot of the possession.
Chances were at a premium after the break although Kris Duncan could have added a third for the home side but he failed to make a clean contact following a scramble in the box.
Forres boss Charlie Rowley said: "How Clach are in the league position they are I will never know because every time we play them they always give us a really difficult game.
"Throughout the game I thought we created the better chances but in open play they were a real threat and caused us a lot of problems.
"I am absolutely delighted with the three points.
"We won because we battled well and the workrate was there. I am over the moon to get the three points.
"Scott Lawrie was the outstanding player on the park and was excellent from start to finish."
Forres: Knight, Soane, Smith, Grant, G. Fraser, Macpherson, Lawrie, Duncan, L. Fraser (Jones 70), Scott, McGovern. Not used: Moore, Mackintosh, S. Fraser, Allan.
Rothes were on the end of a 7-0 thumping at Inverurie with a Neil Gauld hat-trick the highlight for the home side.
At Grant Park, Lossiemouth were dumped 5-0 by visitors Nairn County.
Keith couldn't halt Formartine's title surge, going down 2-0 at Kynoch Park to Steve Paterson's side.
Buckie Thistle slumped to a 4-1 defeat at Cove Rangers with new signing Andy Low getting the Jags' consolation goal late on.
Leaders Brora Rangers' unbeaten record was blown away at Dudgeon Park as visitors Fraserburgh won 1-0.
Deveronvale were 3-2 winners at Wick Academy.
The games between Fort William and Huntly, and Strathspey Thistle v Turriff Utd were postponed.