BUCKIE Thistle notched up another three points to stay on top of the Highland League with John McLeod's goal clinching a 1-0 win over visitors Wick Academy.
McLeod pounced in the 54th minute to bag the winner from close range after good work by Jay Cheyne and Sam Urquhart.
The Jags had missed a string of chances in the opening 45 minutes against a Wick side which defended resolutely.
The home side carved an opening early in the second half when Cheyne, on the park for less than a minute, teed up Urquhart who played the ball into the path of McLeod and he fired past Sean McCarthy from close range for his 40th goal of the season.
Buckie keeper Daniel Bell was a virtual spectator as the home side comfortably held on to their second half advantage.
Wick were reduced to ten men in stoppage time at the end of the game when Sam Mackay was shown a straight red card for violent conduct after a tussle with a Buckie player.
With six games remaining, Buckie remain in the driving seat in the race for the Highland League title and head to Huntly next Saturday.
Buckie manager Graeme Stewart said: "That was a massive win. The team showed great character again and defensively we were brilliant."
Wick assistant manager Richard Hughes said: "We put in a good shift and set ourselves up in the first half not to lose an early goal and it worked. We were a bit disappointed with the goal that we lost."
Buckie goalkeeper Daniel Bell said: "I had nothing to do so that is perfect for me to be honest. I don't think I had a save to make."