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Highland League: Brora Rangers, Inverurie Locos and Lossiemouth chalk up victories

Brora faced Keith at Golspie Sutherland's King George V Park as Dudgeon Park was unplayable.

Brora's James Wallace shields the ball from Inverurie Locos' Lloyd Robertson. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson
Brora's James Wallace shields the ball from Inverurie Locos' Lloyd Robertson. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Brora gave themselves a confidence booster before their Scottish Cup against Cove Rangers with a comfortable victory over Keith.

With Dudgeon Park unplayable, the match was played at Golspie Sutherland’s King George V Park.

Cattachs boss Ally MacDonald said: “We are grateful to Golspie for letting us play.

“This was only our third game since the end of November so it was important to get some good minutes into the boys before the Scottish Cup tie on Tuesday.

“We got there, although it took us 10-15 minutes to settle down.

“We got our goals at good times, it was good to see James Wallace get a couple after a couple of years out.

“There was a spell in the second half when Keith put us under a bit of pressure, but we kept organised and overall I’m happy with the win as well.”

Brora opened the scoring in the 14th minute when Wallace slotted home from close range following a corner.

The Cattachs extended their lead after 25 minutes with Jordan MacRae making no mistake converting an Alex Cooper pass.

The hosts strengthened their grip nine minutes from the break when Keith goalie Craig Reid parried Max Ewan’s fierce shot and Wallace slotted home the loose ball.

Keith made more of a fist of it in the second half although they fell further behind ten minutes in when Alasdair Sutherland fired home from eight yards.

The Maroons got a consolation goal when Craig Gill rifled home a low drive for his first goal for the club.

Keith manager Craig Ewen said :“Brora away is always difficult but I couldn’t fault our workrate and application.

“Unfortunately we lost the toss for a start and there was a strong wind blowing down the pitch in the first half, then at half-time it disappeared.

“We started reasonably well, but lost a poor goal at a corner.

“It’s difficult just now, it feels as though every ricochet and loose ball is going against us.

“We were excellent in the second half and we just have to stick together.”

Inverurie Locos 6-0 Nairn County

Inverurie Locos boss Dean Donaldson was full of praise for his players after an emphatic 6-0 victory against Nairn County at Harlaw Park.

Nairn went into the match hoping to edge closer to the top five but they ran into a Locos side who served up a classy display that belied their bottom half of the table position.

Locos boss Donaldson said: “We had a bit of fortune with the penalty decision so early in the game. Nairn had a couple of chances with crosses but we got our goals at the right time.

“Cole Anderson has been giving us that type of performances with energy, he has hunger and we’ve given him freedom to play.

“We’ve been searching for goals but Myles (Gaffney) is starting to provide those.

“Everything came together for us while on another day it doesn’t.

“It was great to get Zach Ellis back in goals after a few weeks out with a hand injury.

“Blessing Oluyemi, who is on loan from Peterhead, has been fantastic for us and it’s great to have competition for places in that position.”

In the third minute Cole Anderson was brought down in the box and Paul Coutts hammered the penalty high into the roof of the net.

Soon after the half hour Anderson fed the ball through for Myles Gaffney to slide the ball under Dylan McLean for Locos’ 2,000th goal in senior football.

Five minutes from the interval Anderson flicked the ball to his right for Nathan Meres to slip the ball beyond the Nairn goalkeeper.

Jay Halliday rolled home from close range to make matters worse for the visitors.

Nairn made three half time changes but were reduced to ten men in the early stages of the second half when Ross Tokely caught Meres and was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Defender Thomas Reid made it five on 52 minutes and 20 minutes later Gaffney grabbed his second.

He raced behind the Wee County defence, drew McLean who saved but when the ball fell at his feet again he hammered it home.

Nairn assistant manager David Hind said: “We’re all really shellshocked to be honest.

“We gifted them the first two goals and the third and fourth were also poor.

“We’ve trained hard and hopefully it’s a blip.

“Fair play to Locos, they took their chances on the day.”

Lossiemouth 3-1 Rothes

Lossiemouth ran out worthy winners against Rothes with an 88th minute Ryan Farquhar strike securing the points for the home side.

Lossie manager Frank McGettrick said: “You never get an easy game against Rothes, they’re a hard team to beat and in Michael Finnis they have one of the best central defender in the league, as he reads the game so well.

“It was great to see Dylan Lawrence score the opening goal on his debut but I was equally chuffed for Brandon Hutcheson who scored a great goal.

“We were 2-0 up then Rothes scored and it took a couple of brilliant saves from our keeper Cammy Farquhar to preserve our lead.

“Ryan Farquhar then ran through to score a late third to make the points safe.”

The Coasters fielded Dylan Lawrence and Aiden Cruickshank who had signed on loan from Elgin City earlier in the week.

Manager-less Rothes were without striker Greg Morrison who picked up a hamstring injury in the 2-2 draw against Formartine United on Wednesday night.

Lossiemouth manager Frank McGettrick. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

The crucial opener came for the home side in the 65th minute when a poor kick out by Rothes keeper McCarthy went straight to Lawrence and, whether it was a cross or a shot, his ball into the box from wide on the left sailed into the roof of the net.

Five minutes later Lossie made it 2-0 when substitute Jared Kennedy’s superb ball into the box was slammed past McCarthy by Hutcheson.

Rothes pulled one back in the 76th minute when Lossie keeper Cameron Farquhar did brilliantly to keep out a Kyle Whyte deflected drive but Jake Thomson was on hand to hammer the ball home from six yards.

Three minutes later Farquhar brilliantly parried a net-bound Fraser Robertson drive before Liam Shewan fired wide with only Farquhar to beat.

With two minutes to go Lossie sealed their victory when Ryan Farquhar capitalised on a Ben Johnstone mistake to clip home number three from eight yards.

Rothes caretaker manager Bobby Beckwith said: “You could see that our lads were really tired. Their legs were really heavy in the first half after two hard games against Brechin City and then the 2-2 home draw against another top side, Formartine United, on Wednesday night.

“The first goal we lost was a bad one, it was a cross which ended up in the roof of the net but Lossie battled well to close us down so all credit to them for taking the points.”