GRAHAM McBeath made a winning return to Mackessack Park.
The new Keith boss saw his Maroons triumph 5-3 against the club which sacked him in February.
Lossiemouth were on the wrong end of a 5-0 scoreline at Clach.
Forres Mechanics were 2-1 winners at Huntly.
Kris Duncan and Scott Lawrie put Charlie Rowley's side 2-0 midway through the first half, but the home side pulled one back almost immediately through Madle.
With Brora Rangers' game at Buckie being abandoned after 27 minutes, Formartine took full advantage with a 4-0 win at home to Fort William.
Nairn County and Cove Rangers shared the points in a 3-3 draw at Station Park.
Wick Academy also slipped up in the title race when they went down 3-2 at Fraserburgh.
In the other games, Deveronvale beat Strathspey Thistle 5-1 at Princess Royal Park, and Inverurie Locos edged a close game at Turriff 3-2.