A solitary goal was enough to secure three points for Stonehaven FC in their tie against a 10-man Hermes.
Hives manager Ian Esslemont said the red card for Hermes was a turning point in the game, and Stonehaven quickly capitalised when Rob Armstrong scored in the 54th minute.
Esslemont said: “The sending off in the second half changed the game.
“There was a lot of hard work in the build up to the goal and it was scored excellently by Rob.
“It was a good finish.
“It was a tough and physical game, but we knew it would be anyway; they have a lot of good players.”
The referee deemed a back tackle by a Hermes player to be worthy of a straight red, which angered Hermes manager Neil Dawson and he was eventually sent away by the official as well.
The win means that Stonehaven are keeping the pressure on Dyce Juniors who sit at the top of the table three points clear, but Hives crucially have two games in hand.
Esslemont said he is still hopeful that Stonehaven can get something out of the league, but confess that games being postponed is frustrating. “We had the same situation last season,” he said. “We had a good run but then games being called off got in the way of it. Hopefully that doesn’t happen again.”
And Banks o’ Dee are still very much in it, with four games in hand over Hives (and six over Dyce) and are six points behind them.
This weekend Stonehaven travel to Newburgh Thistle for the first round of the McLeman Cup. “It’s the last cup we’re in so we need to win that game,” Esslemont said.