Brora Rangers put in a clinical display to make sure a hard-working Turriff United’s 2016 started with a 3-1 defeat to the league leaders. A double from Paul Brindle and a goal from Grant Munro earned Richard Britain’s side a victory in front of the Press and Journal camera. A penalty converted nicely by Artjoms Kuznecovs couldn’t prevent the hosts from losing this game.
The first real chance of the half arrived for Brora’s Brindle who turned on six pence and struck a powerful shot goalwards, but it was easily saved by alert keeper Kevin Main. At the other end, a sloppy clearance by Brittain almost led to the opener with the ball falling perfectly for Craig MacAskill, but he pulled his shot across goal.
Brora stormed forward not long after with Gavin Morrison picking up the ball and he fired a sweet strike which looked to be going for the top corner, however Main made an unbelievable save as he tipped the ball over with one hand. Again the away side threatened when danger man Brindle sprinted through on goal and was ready to pull the trigger but Cameron Bowden dived in with a brilliant last ditch challenge to prevent the striker from scoring.
In the 22nd minute the opener came against the run of play when Zander Sutherland crossed the ball into the area and the unmarked Brindle slid in to net the delivery. This angered the Turriff faithful as it looked offside with Referee Liam Duncan having nothing of it.
Soon after, the home supporters got a smile on their face when Aaron McKenna skilfully went around Morrison a couple of times and managed to cleverly draw the foul. Minutes later, Scott Graham darted through one and one with the keeper but the ball went too far on front of him with Main managing to gather it, but Graham still followed through and put his studs into the goalie which caused a bust up between both teams. Graham escaped with a yellow card from the referee.
Just before the interval, Grant Munro rose highest in the penalty area to power a header over the crossbar.
After the break, Brindle went on mazy run on the left flank and out muscled a defender to whip the ball into the box where Sutherland was lurking but the keeper picked it up. Sutherland showed his anger for missing this glorious chance.
Not long after Sutherland cut inside of Kuznecovs with ease and curled a shot which clipped the bar. Turriff were pushing for the leveller with Robert Allan whipping in a free kick which went to the unmarked Jamie Beagrie at the back post who flicked it over.
Then MacAskill from close range struck a shot which Joe Malin dived to save. Brora then made a change, bringing on Martin Maclean for Andrew Greig. Straight after the substitute almost took advantage of a Kuznecovs mistake but his low drive was pushed away by Main.
Brora came close to doubling their lead when John Pickles was under no pressure but he blasted an effort well wide of the target. In the 73rd minute Britain’s side doubled their lead with Sutherland provider again as his clever pass sent Brindle through to stroke the ball past Main into the net.
A corner was whipped in at the other end with eleven minutes left of the game, but sub MacLean elbowed Beagrie which resulted in a penalty being awarded for the hosts. Kuznecovs stepped up to convert the spot kick and Malin was helpless to it. This was a lifeline for Ross Jack’s team but Brora broke their hearts four minutes later when Morrison curled a free kick into the box, which was tucked home by Munro to wrap up the victory.