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Turriff came from two goals behind to earn a draw against champions Cove at The Haughs.

Cove started in the best possible way through a goal from Stuart Duff early on and they doubled their lead going into the break. With less than 15 minutes to go the home side got a goal back through Jamie Beagrie and equalised late on after a John McCafferty mistake essentially gifted Nikolas Wozniak the equaliser.

After the game Cove put the frustrations of the draw behind them as they picked up the Highland League trophy.

Within minutes Cove took the lead, showing that despite the league being wrapped up they weren’t going to slow down. Jonny Smith ran from the half way line before giving the ball to Dean Donaldson on the right of the box, he found space and picked out Duff arriving at the back post and his half volley found the net from close range.

Cove continued their dominance and nearly doubled their lead but Smith fired over from the right side of the box. However, United could well have equalised when David Booth flicked the ball through to Nicholas Gray, but when he was one on one he could only hit straight at John McCafferty.

With just minutes remaining in the first half Donaldson doubled the champions lead. Duff’s free kick from just inside the opposition half wasn’t cleared and fell to captain Eric Watson’s feet to the left of the goal, he took a touch and picked out Donaldson a couple of yards out and he tapped in at the second time of asking.

The second half was slow with minimal chances going either way but Cove certainly had the best chance when Connor Scully’s shot from inside the box was blocked and cleared away to keep the score line down to two.

With less than 15 minutes to go Turriff were handed a lifeline. Substitute Andrew Smith’s corner was missed by goalkeeper McCafferty and in his last game for Turriff, Beagrie headed home to give the home side some hope.

Five minutes later the home side drew level after a huge mistake. Booth cut the ball back from the right and although the cross looked easy to collect for McCafferty, he dropped the ball and gifted Wozniak the equaliser against the run of play.

With minutes to go Stuart Walker retaliated from a challenge from Booth and appeared to punch the striker, giving referee Mat Northcroft no option but to send him off. The red card didn’t influence the rest of the game as it finished level.

At the end of the game Cove Rangers collect the Highland league trophy and can now look forward to the SPFL playoff, where they will take on Edinburgh City over two legs, the first of which is at Harlaw Park next Saturday.

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Latest Results

22-04-2017 15:00 - North of Scotland Cup First Round
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Formartine United 0 : 0 Buckie Thistle
Strathspey Thistle 0 : 3 Deveronvale
Fort William 1 : 5 Brora Rangers
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Press and Journal Highland League 2016-17

Rank Teams Played GD Points
1 Buckie Thistle 34 94 82
2 Cove Rangers 34 79 82
3 Brora Rangers 34 80 81
4 Formartine United 34 35 73
5 Fraserburgh 34 29 63
6 Forres Mechanics 34 21 58
7 Turriff United 34 14 58
8 Wick Academy 34 23 53
9 Inverurie Locos 34 18 50
10 Keith 34 -14 47
11 Clachnacuddin 34 -24 41
12 Lossiemouth 34 -18 38
13 Nairn County 34 -17 34
14 Huntly 34 -43 34
15 Deveronvale 34 -24 30
16 Rothes 34 -69 26
17 Fort William 34 -92 11
18 Strathspey Thistle 34 -92 9

Next Matches

29-04-2017 15:00 - North of Scotland Cup Quarter-Finals
Nairn County - : - Brora Rangers
Halkirk United - : - Forres Mechanics
Golspie Sutherland - : - Rothes
Fort William - : - Invergordon
29-04-2017 15:00 - SPFL Pyramid Playoffs First Leg
Buckie Thistle - : - East Kilbride

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