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‘It makes it harder for us with regards to the title race’: All the reaction from a dramatic weekend in the Highland League

Brora Rangers lose ground after being held to a draw at Turriff while Fraserburgh hit Huntly for six.

Brora Rangers manager Ally MacDonald.
Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson
Brora Rangers manager Ally MacDonald. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Turriff manager Warren Cummings praised his players following their 2-2 draw against Brora Rangers at the Haughs.

Cummings said: “It was a strange game as we created good opportunities but I’ll never be critical of missing chances as putting the ball in the back of the net is the most difficult thing to do in football.

“We felt we didn’t deserve to be behind but the players had belief, showed great stamina and fitness on an energy-sapping pitch. We gave Brora a really good game. I consider them one of the best teams in the league.”

Turriff were gifted an opener in six minutes when goalkeeper Logan Ross was dispossessed by Reece McKeown who rounded him and rolled the ball home.

The Cattachs equalised on the hour, Kyle McLeod slipping the through ball past David Dey.

In 78 minutes Dale Gillespie fired home from the penalty spot after Finlay Murray upended Alex Cooper but a late Murray Cormack leveller from close range produced a grandstand finish

Brora manager Ally MacDonald said: “It makes it harder for us with regards to the title race. There is no hiding from that.

“We just have to tick off the games and hope our fellow title challengers drop points.”

Nairn County 4-2 Deveronvale

Deveronvale manager Craig Stewart felt referee Billy Baxter’s decision to award Nairn County a penalty ten minutes into the second period as the defining moment of his side’s 4-2 defeat.

Ben Barron put Nairn ahead in the third minute but Vale levelled eight minutes through Jack Mitchell.

Harry Hennem restored the home side’s advantage before Scott Thomson was adjudged to have followed through on a tackle on Callum Mackay which was deemed a spot kick and Barron increased Nairn’s lead.

Jamie Maclellan reduced the arrears but Barron completed his hat trick in the 65th minute.

On the penalty decision, Stewart said “It was one of a number of some disappointing decisions from the officials for both teams but I have to give the boys credit as they never gave up and put a lot into the game especially during the second half.

“To be honest it could have ended up six goals each as both sides created good chances.

“We are on the wrong side of thin margins at the moment and the boys are disappointed as they are working hard and to be outdone by the key moment in the game being the penalty hurts as the game was there for the taking.”

Nairn manager Steven Mackay said: “Ben Barron grabbing another three goals was pleasing but Harry Hennem also deserves praise as he was tremendous the whole game and got his reward with a goal.”

Fraserburgh 6-0 Huntly

Fraserburgh produced an emphatic display to down ten-man Huntly 6-0 at a blustery Bellslea Park.

Broch assistant manager James Duthie said: “We could have gone on and scored a lot more goals, we missed a penalty, had two goals chalked off and fully deserved the win.

“We now move on to another difficult match (against Buckie) on Wednesday night.”

The Broch took the lead on nine minutes when Sean Butcher netted his 100th goal for the club.

Things went from bad to worse for the visitors four minutes later when Ross Still received a red card for a high challenge on Aidan Sopel.

After the break Fraserburgh’s Ryan Sargent won a penalty after being tripped by James Connelly, but Fraser Hobday saved his tame effort.

The Broch striker made amends on 53 minutes converting Paul Young’s pass to double the lead.

Two minutes later Kieran Simpson flicked home a header and the young centre-half got his second after 68 minutes bulleting a header into the top corner from Scott Barbour’s delivery.

Barbour notched a double in the last ten minutes to complete the rout.

Huntly boss Colin Charlesworth said: “I’ve no arguments with the red card, Stillie just overshot the ball, but we regrouped, used the wind well and were well in the game at half time.

“Second half they got after us and were relentless, they know how to play the conditions here, my frustration is we didn’t get tight and compact as a unit.”

Wick Academy 3-0 Lossiemouth

Wick Academy player-manager Gary Manson was pleased to record back-to-back Breedon Highland League wins for the first time since August 2022 with victory against Lossiemouth.

The Scorries triumphed 3-0 at Harmsworth Park to move onto 19 points, 18 of which have been earned at home.

Manson said: “I’m really happy with the clean sheet, the three goals and the professional manner we went about our business.

“Our home form has been good and we’ve picked up points and scored plenty of goals.

“Now it’s a question of can we go away from home and do that.”

A pleasing day for Wick manager Gary Manson. Image: Jasperimage.

The opener arrived for Wick on 12 minutes as Gary Pullen produced a towering leap to bullet home a header from Ross Gunn’s right wing cross.

Shortly before the half hour mark a Jack Halliday corner was sliced into his own net by Coasters defender Jared Kennedy to increase the Scorries’ advantage.

In the 77th minute Kyle Henderson weaved his way along the edge of the box before finishing past goalkeeper Cameron Farquhar to complete the scoring.

Lossie boss Frank McGettrick said: “We were second to every ball and when we had it we gave it away too cheaply, ultimately we were well beaten.”

Strathspey Thistle 0-2 Inverurie Locos

Dean Donaldson was pleased Inverurie Locos managed to defeat Strathspey Thistle despite not hitting top gear at Seafield Park.

Callum Duncan converted from Jay Halliday’s cutback in the 17th minute to put the Railwaymen ahead.

Nathan Meres run and pass teed up Myles Gaffney to make it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time.


Locos manager Donaldson said: “In terms of performance I felt it wasn’t our best. Strathspey worked really hard and they were always dangerous.”

Strathspey are nine points adrift at the foot of the table.

Boss Robert MacCormack said: “I felt we deserved something out of the game for how we played.

“We’re still positive and if keep putting in performances like that we will pick up points.”

Rothes 0-0 Keith

There were no goals but plenty of entertainment as Rothes and Keith drew 0-0 at Mackessack Park.

Michael Finnis went closest to breaking the deadlock when his 14th minute penalty kick, and the rebound, were superbly saved by Keith keeper Craig Reid.

Richard Hastings, in the Rothes dugout for the first time, said: “There was lots of fight and endeavour from both teams and had either team won it they would probably have felt that they’d stolen the three points.”

Keith boss Craig Ewen said: “I felt we were on the ascendancy in the second half when we had a number of opportunities to win the game but unfortunately we couldn’t find the goal to take the three points.”

And is Max Barry the best player in the Highland League?

That is the view of Buckie Thistle manager Graeme Stewart following his side’s 3-2 victory against Brechin City which has thrown the title race wide open.

Read more by clicking the link below:

Graeme Stewart lauds Buckie Thistle’s Max Barry as best in Highland League after win at Brechin