Turriff United made their first trip of the 2019-20 season as they travelled up north to visit Dudgeon Park and take on title contenders Brora Rangers this past weekend.
Manager Kris Hunter made one change to the side which had welcomed Rothes to The Haughs on the opening day of the season with Michael Ironside dropping out through illness there was a return to the starting line-up for James Chalmers who had served his one game suspension carried over from last season after picking up a yellow card in the final game of the season against Buckie Thistle.
As expected Turriff started on the back foot and some good play down the right flank saw Scott Davidson pick up the ball on the edge of the area but he shot well over causing Fraser Hobday in the visiting goal no concerns.
Turriff broke away and a high cross from right to left was met at the back post by a header but the linesman adjudged the player to be in an offside position, Brora quickly took the free kick immediately and broke through the middle but again the shot was over the bar.
Brora were piling on the pressure and a free kick into the box from Alistair MacDonald lingered in the air at the back post before being met by Paul Brindle but Hobday was in good form to stop the effort with a dive.
With twenty two minutes on the clock Brora took the lead their play had merited when a run down the right wing by John Pickles saw him cross the ball into the box evaded the returning Calum Reid and clipping off James Chalmers who couldn’t really help knocking it into the path of the advancing Jordan MACRAE, a summer signing from Cove Rangers, who belted the ball past Hobday into the bottom corner.
Some beautiful quick passing play by Brora saw the ball clipped in at height where Jordan MacRae went for number two, deftly lifting the ball over Hobday but the ball was also over the bar and landed off the roof of the net.
With thirty four minutes gone it was two, Brindle collected the ball with his back to goal, before flicking the ball slyly into the path of central midfielder Martin MACLEAN who without breaking stride burst through the last line of defence, sold Hobday a dummy and rolled the ball into the empty net to double the Brora advantage.
Brora made it three as the forward run of MacRae saw him easily avoid the half-hearted tackle of Reid who was making his way to cover before sending the ball into a crowded box where it bounced between Furey and Bowden with neither getting a handle on it to clear, Kyle MACLEOD nipped in between them and fired past Hobday high into the net.
HT Brora Rangers 3-0 Turriff United
Brora started the second half in the same vein they had finished the first as they forced a corner which was only cleared as far as MacRae , the young striker took a touch and was immediately surrounded but managed to make his way away from three approaching defenders before playing a neat one two and cutting it on to his right foot before curling an effort towards the top corner which Hobday did fantastically well to tip away at full stretch.
Brindle was next to try his luck and again zipped his way past some challenges before trying a similar curling effort to be met with the same hands repelling all attacks as Hobday again defended his net well.
A slick one two between Brindle and Alistair MacDonald saw the left back break into the box but again Hobday was on hand to prevent the goal this time his legs sending the ball out for a corner.
Turriff had the slimmest of chances when Robert Ward, similar to in the first game of the season was being tackled rather agriculturally as defenders found him a handful, won a free kick on the outskirts of the area where Lewis Buxton stepped up and curled an effort towards the bottom left corner but the ball was marginally wide of the post although it looked as though Malin had it covered.
Brora were piling on the pressure and a Brindle header in was cleared by Chalmers as far as MacRae who fired a powerful volley towards goal but again Hobday was on hand with a fantastic save to keep the score to three.
Brora broke and a beautiful ball from Wagenaar on the left flank found Dale Gillespie but the veteran midfielder managed to put his effort over the bar as the game drew to a close
A game that was always going to be tough sees Turriff start the season with one draw and a loss but they now have two home games in quick succession with the visit of Inverurie Locos to The Haughs on the 10th before a week later they welcome Strathspey Thistle, this is followed by two away ties as they travel to Buckie Thistle on Aberdeenshire Cup duty on Wednesday the 21st and then to Keith as they return to Highland League action on the 24th. They round out the month with a home tie against Fraserburgh on the 31st.
FT Brora Rangers 3-0 Turriff United