Substitute Archie MacPhee gave Nairn County a late Valentines present as he scored at the death to secure a narrow 3-2 victory over a shell shocked Turriff United on a sunny afternoon. This gets them back to winning ways and keeps the pressure on Brora at the top. Darren Mackie returned for the home side. County also complete their second win against Turriff this season.
Turriff troubled County from the start with only a few minutes gone, Gary Harris stepped up and smashed his free kick just over the crossbar. Then Gary McGowan cut inside of a defender with ease and fired the ball which stopper Callum Donaldson brilliantly tipped over. Then at the other end, Daniel Moore swung in a corner from the right flank which fell kindly to Mo Morrison who wasted it by shooting wide. Minutes later, Stuart Leslie showed his class by curling his set piece which was heading into the left hand corner but unluckily for him it just hit the bar. Not long after, Robert Duncanson was found in space and he unleashed a power strike which went just past the post.
Turriff's striker Gary McGowan was a big threat to the County back four as he battled hard against them and he almost opened the scoring for the home side as he pounced on a loose ball but his effort was well stopped by Donaldson. This resulted in McGowan picking up a knock but thankfully for Turriff he was brought back onto the field. Duncanson was set up perfectly by Leslie but his powerful strike went wide.
In the 28th minute, Turriff took full advantage of Nairn lost the ball by opening the scoring. Aaron McKenna attempted to shoot but he slipped to the ground and the ball managed to still get through to Harris who slotted the ball into the net. The rest of half, Turriff were in full control and looked to be gaining great confidence for their upcoming midweek Morrison Motors semi final against Cove Rangers.
Half Time: Turriff United 1-0 Nairn County
Just after the break, Jamie Beagrie's powerful effort looked to be going in but Donaldson managed to get down to make the save. Again the County defence were undone as McGowan curled the ball goal wards but Donaldson was alert to it. Lewis Davidson came close to doubling their lead by letting fly with his shot towards the top corner, Donaldson came to rescue by making a superb diving save. A good delivery into a packed penalty box caused County problems but Adam Naismith managed cleared a dangerous header off the line.
In 67th minute Conor Gethins made his return from injury by coming on for Stuart Leslie. Turriff looked to have come out on top as Gary McGowan quickly weaved past the defence and powered the ball low into the net.
County got a goal back a minute later; a great ball opened the home side up and the ball fell to unmarked Robbie Duncanson who smashed the ball into the far corner of the net giving Mcaffrey no chance. County had a penalty claim denied with Gethins getting pulled down in the box. Turriff used all their subs in the last 15 minutes as they looked to be getting a super victory against a top side with Mackie coming back from injury. McGowan skilfully flicked the ball beyond Donaldson but due to the rainy conditions the night before the ball stuck on the line.
With two minutes remaining, Nairn ruined Turriff's great performance by equalising, it looked like captain Michael Morrison was going to cross the ball but he instead chipped it right over the keeper's head who was off his line.
It was two substitutes who made the impact to get the winner. A big ball up to Conor Gethins who controlled it superbly and crossed it into the box with Archie MacPhee scoring a calm and excellent finish. This got the Nairn players in a party mood. After that Turriff tried to get a point but couldn't with Nairn putting in great challenges to stop them getting pasted. Nairn repeated the way they won against Buckie back in November last year by winning it at the death. They also take full advantage of Formartine's match being postponed and Inverurie Locos losing to Brora.
Full Time: Turriff United 2-3 Nairn County
Reporter: Sean McAngus