Keith returned to winning ways with a 3-0 Breedon Highland League victory against Turriff United at Kynoch Park.
The Maroons were on a run of three successive defeats but Michael Ironside’s first half strike and goals from Michael Selfridge and Przemyslaw Nawrocki gave them the points against a United side yet to win this season.
Prior to the game Keith were boosted by Ryan Robertson, Selfridge, Stewart Hutcheon, Kieran Yeats, Scott Gray signing contract extensions, while youngster Nathan McKeown signed his first professional contract.
Maroons boss Craig Ewen also gave a first start to midfielder Liam Strachan, who has joined on loan from Formartine United for the remainder of the season.
The game started at a frenetic tempo with visiting goalkeeper David Dey making a good early save to deny Ironside from 15 yards.
But it was the home side who took the lead just after the quarter of an hour mark when Selfridge’s slide-rule pass down the inside left channel sent Ironside clear and he calmly finished into the bottom right corner.
In response for Turriff Murray Thompson’s deflected cross was fumbled by Keith goalkeeper Craig Reid but the visitors couldn’t force the ball into the net in the ensuing six-yard box scramble.
Then Thompson made a terrific run in off the right flank and slipped a pass to Jordan Cooper, but Reid blocked at close quarters.
Before the first half was over Tom Andrews tested United goalkeeper David Dey with a shot from just inside the area after good set-up work by Selfridge and trialist Tom Findlay.
At the other end Cooper shot wide from 20 yards and Matthew McDonald sliced an effort off target having found space in the box.
Hosts double their lead
Turriff started the second period brightly with Liam Norris sending a bicycle kick narrowly wide from Rory Brown’s deflected free-kick.
In the 56th minute a Norris free-kick from the left picked out Owen Kinsella at the back post, but the defender’s diving header was blocked by Reid.
Just a minute later Keith doubled their lead with Demilade Yunas’ long ball forward finding Selfridge on the left side of the area and he slotted into the bottom right corner.
After the hour Keith sub Nawrocki twice went close, first with a shot straight at Dey, then a header from Selfridge’s left-wing cross, but again the goalkeeper was equal to it.
Midway through the period Keith notched their third with Rhys Thomas darting in from the right wing and slipping in Nawrocki, who rounded Dey to score.
On 76 minutes the Maroons should have had another with Thomas again driving forward and setting up Ironside on the right side of the box, but he neither shot on target or picked out Nawrocki at the back post.
Turriff kept battling away in the closing stages, however, the scoring of the third goal had knocked the stuffing out of them with any hope of a comeback extinguished.
In stoppage time United had one last chance, but in a scramble Reid managed to thwart both Keir Smith and Bruno Debembe.