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Neil Gauld inspires Turriff to victory against former side Inverurie Locos; Brora Rangers leave it late against Nairn County

An injury-time goal from Andrew Macrae ensured Brora started the new season with a win.

Inverurie Locos boss Dean Donaldson. Image: DC Thomson
Inverurie Locos boss Dean Donaldson. Image: DC Thomson

Turriff United started the season in style with a 4-1 victory against Inverurie Locos with a 4-1 at the Haughs.

Turra boss Dean Donaldson praised his players after an impressive display.

He said: “We’ve been trying to give the boys the right minutes on the park ahead of this first game.

“I wasn’t concerned about the pre-season friendly results apart from the Aberdeen one (a 9-0 loss).

“To a man they worked to a plan and are developing into proper men.

“They’ve got that winning mentality although they’re still a bit quiet.

“The average age of the squad is still young. Players have come in over the summer and enhanced us, we need that competition for places.”

Donaldson didn’t want to single out any particular departments for special praise although he was delighted to see the four goals come from three key strikers, two of which, in Neil Gauld and John Allan, are new to the Haughs.

He added: “It was pleasing as the goals were all good, Ewan Clark at the end, a good partnership developing between Neil Gauld and John Allan. But other strikers at the club can do a good job too.

“Neil would have had a hat-trick but for Andy Reid saving the penalty.

“Keeping him fit at 36 is the challenge. But what a nuisance he is.

“As well as winning on opening day we showed we can make this ground a difficult place to come to.”

For Turriff the game came to life on 28 minutes when new signing Allan crossed from the left and 36-year-old Gauld headed home against his old team.

Allan, 25, only played five times for Peterhead last season after being plucked from amateur football in Shetland.

He headed home a second four minutes later, with the visiting defence out of position and goalkeeper Andy Reid frantically stretching to keep the ball out.

The post stopped Allan from scoring again three minutes into the second half but predator Gauld pounced to rifle home the rebound from close range.

Inverurie got on the scoresheet when Garry Wood headed home a 64th minute Calum Dingwall corner but Clark restored the three-goal lead with three minutes left.

Locos boss Andy Low said: “I didn’t feel we got going at any point of the game. It hasn’t clicked yet and we have a lot of work to do.

“We know we have a good group of players but need to work more as a team.

“We have to work harder as a team, that performance is unacceptable and I will sort it out

“Locos are not good enough to play as individuals, the teamwork is not there but credit where due as Turriff were the better side and deserved to win.

“I just hope the defeat hurts the players as much as it hurts me.”

Nairn County 0-1 Brora Rangers

Super-sub Andrew Macrae hit a stoppage time winner for Brora Rangers against Nairn County in a match that looked destined to finish goal-less.

Macrae, who came off the bench in the 73rd minute, missed an earlier chance to give the Cattachs the lead.

But he made no mistake at the second time of asking when he picked his spot behind Nairn keeper Dylan MacLean in the 92nd minute.

Brora player-manager Ally MacDonald said: “The game played out the way we thought it would.

“We knew they would work hard and make it difficult for us. But I don’t think they had too many chances, which was pleasing.

“We had a lot of the ball and created a few chances in the first half, which we didn’t take.

“In the second Andy had a glorious chance before he scored. It’s a clean sheet and three points, I’m happy with that.”

Jordan MacRae, who has signed a contrac extension until the summer of 2027, had the first real effort of note when he bore down on goal but MacLean was quickly off his line to bravely block his effort.

From the resultant corner kick the keeper did well to keep out a close range effort from the lively MacRae.

In first half stoppage time when MacRae then cracked a header off the upright.

Nairn were more adventurous after the break and they came close to an opener in the 54th minute.

Aaron Nicolson played in Scott Davidson but he flashed his effort wide of Joe Malin’s left hand post.

Nairn skipper Angus Dey was next up with a long range effort that drifted just wide.

Brora should have gone ahead in the 76th minute when Ali Sutherland slipped the ball through to Macrae but the sub was denied by MacLean who raced from his goal.

The winner came 90 seconds into stoppage time.

Nairn gave away possession in the middle of the park and when the ball broke to Macrae and he raced clear to fire the ball past the stranded keeper.

Nairn boss Steven Mackay said: “It was a tough one to take.

“They had a lot of possession in the first half, which we expected, that was part of our game plan, to sit in and try and frustrate them.

“I thought it worked pretty well. As the second half wore on it opened up a bit and we gambled to try and get a goal.

“But a quick turnover has cost us which is hard to take. It’s a bit of sickener after the effort we put into the game as I think we deserved a point.”