Turriff United boss Warren Cummings hailed his side’s resolve as they recorded an excellent 4-1 win at Inverurie Locos.
The first derby between Locos and Turriff since Dean Donaldson moved from Turra to Inverurie turned out to be an extremely tousy encounter with both sides reduced to 10 men.
United boss Cummings said: “I’m really happy first and foremost with the result but I believe on the balance of play it was deserved.
“Overall I felt we were the better team and credit to Inverurie they came back from the goal down and showed the character they’ve developed.
“It could’ve gone a couple of ways but our side showed a lot of guts and character.
“They’re a young group and have lots of energy and the two late goals for us capped it off.
“I don’t think you can blame the very wet conditions for a player on either side being sent off for violent conduct.”
Right…who fancies some goals on Sunday?
Not only was this a belter of a hit this was also Liam's first goal for Turriff United in over a hundred games
Liam has been sponsored for the season by TUFC Social Club pic.twitter.com/XOAWO0DXf3
— Turriff United Football Club (@TurriffUnitedFC) December 10, 2023
Turriff dig deep following early red card
The first big talking point came in the 13th minute when Turriff forward Ewan Clark received a straight red card following an altercation with stand-in Locos goalkeeper John Farquhar.
Despite being down to 10 men Liam Strachan opened the scoring for the visitors in 25 minutes with a long range effort which went in off the underside of the crossbar.
Parity was restored in terms of personnel when Tom Reid of Locos was ordered off for a rash challenge.
10-man Locos hit back before Turriff hit late treble
Locos equalised after the break when Myles Gaffney netted with a rebound after his penalty had been saved by David Dey.
But Turriff finished strongly and secured the points with three goals in the final 15 minutes.
Callan Gray netted another stunning goal in 75 minutes to restore the Turra lead and as the homesters chased to get level substitute Reece McKeown netted two late goals to complete the victory.
Disappointed Locos boss Donaldson said: “We conceded slack goals from our point of view because we were chasing the game.
“We need to be more clinical as there’s obviously an issue with us putting the ball in the net.
“Turriff were getting all the second balls around the box.
“It was a fiery game obviously as they have a bee in their bonnet about me and my staff leaving. I’ve got no hard feelings.
“I spent a few years building that team and they turned it on.”
There was some consolation for the Locos manager.
He said: “John Farquhar came in to replace Zach Ellis in goals.
“Zach has a fracture in his hand. John had not played in a few years and will be disappointed with the goals conceded but he put in a decent performance.”
Keith scratch seven-year itch
The fans were treated to a five goal thriller as Keith defeated Deveronvale 3-2 at Kynoch Park for the first time in seven years.
The Maroons were coasting to victory with a three goal lead until Vale nabbed two late goals to set up a nervy finish for the home side.
Keith manager Craig Ewan said: “We’re delighted to get three points which was the main aim, and moves us a bit further up the table.
“There were positives and negatives though.
“We played really well in the first half and probably should have been further ahead.
“Then, our game management in the last 20 minutes was poor and we nearly threw it away, but fair play to the boys they saw it out.”
The Maroons had several chances to open the scoring and Jordan Cooper also had a goal chalked off for offside before two goals in four minutes put them in control.
With 23 minutes gone, Kieran Yeats fired a brilliant 18-yard free kick into the top corner, then when James Brownie was toppled inside the box, Connor Killoh sent Vale goalkeeper Sean McIntosh the wrong way with the resultant spot kick.
Vale set-up tense finish with late double
A super solo goal from Keith’s striker Matty Tough in the 73rd minute should have seen the Maroons home and dry.
But the Banffers struck with two goals in the last eight minutes.
An unfortunate slip from Liam Cheyne saw Jack Mitchell pounce to crash the ball into the roof of the net.
Then Cameron Angus, only on the park a minute, capitalised on another error to slam home a low drive, to set up a riveting finale, though the Maroons held on for a vital win.
Deveronvale assistant manager Titchy Davidson said: “We made a fist of it in the last 15 minutes, but for the 75 minutes before that Keith were massively on top.
“We gave ourselves a glimmer of hope but the manner in which we lost the goals wasn’t really good enough.
“It was a case at the end of too little too late.”