Stonehaven Juniors manager Dougie Baxter praised the efficiency of his side as they beat Maud 4-2 away on Saturday to lodge another three league points in the bank.
Dougie said: “Maud are near the bottom but they gave us a few problems in the first half.
“We didn’t start well and found ourselves 1-0 down at half-time. The players needed a stern talking to at the break to get them to lift the tempo.
“Once we did lift the tempo we were by far the better team.
“By letting them score we gave them something to hang on to. You need to be clinical when playing sides like Maud.”
Keith Horne pulled Stonehaven level, then Lewis Shand put them ahead, but Maud were not finished and managed to tie the scores at 2-2.
Hive then regained conrol and goals from Ian Cruickshank and Lewis Shand gave them a 4-2 winning margin.
“The win keeps us going near the top. Our main rivals were playing cup games, so it means we have played a game less and have three more points in the bag.
“We don’t know how many midweek games we will be asked to play but it should not be many.
“We have eight league games left to play and the season should run to the middle or end of May, depending on how the teams with a lot of games left get on.
“Sometimes if you do not have a lot of games left you are asked to wait ten days or so between fixtures, but that might not happen to us.
“We had three league games in succession and I wanted us to get nine points.
“We have Sunnybank away this Saturdayand Stoneywood away the next which will be very tough.
“The Tuesday after that we play Hermes in a cup-tie, then the Saturday after that it is Banks o’ Dee in a cup.
“After the cup-ties we could be looking at six games left in our season, but I prefer to think we will be looking forward to two cup semi-finals as well.”
In Amateur football is was not a good day for the local sides on Saturday in cup competition.
Luthermuir lost 3-2 at home to Cove Thistle in the North of Scotland Cup fourth round.
In the Aberdeen FC Trophy fourth round, Mearns United lost 4-1 at home to Insch and in the quarter-final of the same competition, Newtonhill lost 8-2 at home to Woodside.
In the semi-finals of the Castle Rovers Cup, Cammachmore lost 4-1 (aet) to Ellon Thistle.
In the Premier Division, Cowie Thistle lost 2-1 away to University.
In Division One East, Stonehaven Athletic had a fine 2-1 win against Old Aberdonians and Johnshaven Athletic continued their recent form by winning 4-3 away to Lads Club.
Bervie kept their promotion hopes alive in Division Two North with a 3-0 win over Mintlaw and in Division Two East, St Laurence lost 3-0 at home to Hazlehead United in a rehearsal for two cup final meetings with the same opponents.
Amateur fixtures for Saturday: Association Trophy R3: Great Western v Mearns Utd.
Division One East: Banchory v Mill Inn; Luthermuir v Lads Club; Newtonhill v Rothie Rovers; Portlethen v RGU; Stonehaven Athletic v MS Utd.
Division Two North: Bervie v JS X1; Northern Utd v Cammachmore.
Division Two East: St Laurence v Glendale Youth.