Inverurie Locos go into this weekend's big Pitmedden local derby sitting in fifth position in the table after an impressive win over lowly Fort William, who refused to throw the towel in despite playing second fiddle the whole game.
Kieran Adams came into the side for Stephen Jeffrey with Mark Souter going to right back. There was an early chance for Martin Bavidge when the ball came to him on his left side at the left side of the box. But the experienced No 10 hammered the ball just over the crossbar.
There was further promise when central midfielder Greg Mitchell released Michael Selfridge to get away from a defender easily. And in the seventh minute it was duly 1-0 Inverurie as Selfridge was placed perfectly right in front of goal to volley home a Bavidge cross from the right.
But there was to be a major setback four minutes later when Liam Taylor was sharp to latch on to a rebound and equalise for the visitors after Scott Mathieson spilled a Nick Stein shot.
Locos looked to get quickly back into their stride by playing the game at a fast pace. Souter released Martin Laing on the right, Bavidge then taking the ball on but finding no takers for his cross.
In 33 minutes Gordon Forsyth set the ball up for John Maitland to do a quick shimmy away from his opponents and fire the ball high into the roof of the net with his right foot.
Three minutes later it was the same combo. Forsyth feeding the ball on again and Maitland accepted the reverse pass with glee as he drove the ball through young Paul McLennan this time with his left foot.
Joe McCabe, on midway through the half for the injured Selfridge, could have increased the lead when he met Laing's cross, but he should have trapped it better and the chance was gone.
The second half was all about Locos looking for more goals, Mitchell, Bavidge and McCabe all having shots blocked in quick succession.
McCabe was again guilty of squandering an opportunity when Laing's cross from the right was very inviting and fellow sub Andy Hunter got in on the act with a left foot shot which the keeper clutched low.
Maitland missed a gilt edged chance to complete his hat trick, firing a penalty kick over the crossbar after another sub Scott Begg had been upended.
Just after Kieran Adams tried his luck with a long range effort the scoring was completed in 87 minutes. Maitland atoned for his spot kick by crossing perfectly for Hunter to rifle in Inverurie's fourth goal.