St. Duthus moved a step closer to the Football Times Cup Final with an impressive win over Western Isles contenders Lewis & Harris.
During an even first half, it was Lewis & Harris who took the lead after six minutes, Luke Mackay scoring a great goal after cutting inside and smashing the ball into the inside left of the net.
The lead lasted just two minutes though before Ben Bruce headed home from a Robbie Murray cross to net his 13th goal of the season.
The game took a twist shortly after half time when referee James McMillan was unable to continue further with a hamstring injury. Assistant referee Colin MacDonald moved to the middle and as luck would have it, qualified official Ian Ross was in attendance and took up the vacant spot. This resulted in a nine minute delay.
The game kicked into action thereafter and Saints took the lead shortly after play was restarted when Ben Bruce crossed for Liam Rostock to head past Maclennan to make it 2-1.
Archie Macdonald levelled the scores again on 74 minutes to bring the Islanders back into the game with a good goal, finding space on the edge of the box to curl the ball in off the underside of the bar.
Just a minute over the ninety, St. Duthus retook the lead thanks to a great run from Dean Allison who broke down the left and finished well to make it 3-2.
The three points were secured four minutes later when Bruce forced a save from Maclennan before Cammy Mackintosh sent the ball over the keeper with a neat lob for a grandstand finish.
Saints saw the game out to uphold their 100% record in the South group, but unfortunately, frustations in the dying stages led to a red card for defender Ross Tokely who was issued two yellow cards in as many minutes.
With results elsewhere, Saints now face a showdown away to Inverness Athletic, where defeat must be avoided to secure a place in the cup final, but a win should be sought to finish the group on maximum points.
Danny McCarthy, Will Ross (bkd 21), Reece Paterson (bkd 18) (Charlie Macdonald 62), John Skinner, Ross Tokely (bkd 97, s/o 98), Jon Campbell, Robbie Murray (Dean Allison 75), Cammy Mackintosh, Ben Bruce (Finlay Macleod 95), Craig Munro, Liam Rostock (Scott Miller 88)
Sub not used: Adam Allan
Lewis & Harris:
Jack Maclennan, Gordon Campbell, Calum Maclennan, Ross Hall (Archie Macdonald 62), Peter Mackenzie, Euan Shirkie (Domhnall Mackay 95), Micheil Russell Smith, Hugh Morrison, Luke Mackay, Alex John Morrison, Mikey Jones
Subs not used: Hamish Macdonald, Andrew Morrison
Referee: James McMillan/Colin MacDonald
Assistants: Colin MacDonald/Ian Ross and Stephen Masson