INVERURIE Locos came out on top in an all action local derby at Turriff 3-2 with all the players on the park refusing to let high winds affect the game.
The Garioch side now sit eight points off the summit with games in hand over the teams above them other than leaders Brora Rangers, who they still have to face this season.
With the attendance boosted by a healthy Hospitality attendee list and a Family Day, the atmosphere was electric throughout
Turriff drew first blood in 13 minutes, their opponents retreating and allowing the pass to come to central defender Chris Herd, who had ventured forward on a long run and sent an unstoppable shot high past Reid.
Within eight minutes, the scores were level and the visiting goalkeeper was the instigator. His long kick out caused concern for Stuart Cumming who back headed unconvincingly to his own goalkeeper. Neil Gauld read the intention, following the path of the ball, expertly lobbing over the head of Steven Coutts and seeing it roll over the line near the post.
Robbie Allan missed an open goal opportunity to restore Turriff’s lead, but six minutes from half time, former Scottish Semi Professional captain Neil McLean scored with a beautifully flighted free kick that deceived Coutts, the strong wind accelerating it’s path over his head high into the net.
The sides went in at the break all square after former Locos midfielder James Brownie netted on the rebound after his first effort was saved following Lewis Davidson’s good work on the right, the Locos defence feeling they could have done better to protect Reid.
Gauld netted his second goal from close range, stooping to power home a header after Dean Donaldson bulleted the ball across the face of goal.
Soon afterwards Reid dived right to save Gary Harris’s penalty after Ross Anderson was adjudged to have handled in the box, an offence not seen by Ryan Milne but he was alerted to it by his Assistant Referee.
Reid topped that with twelve minutes left, making a top class save from Brownie at point blank range that would grace any Match of the Day programme.
Locos were far from sitting back on their lead, substitute Jordan Leyden almost curling in a goal on his debut while the normally unflappable Martin Bavidge missed a one-on-one opportunity when another substitute, Mark Souter won the ball in midfield and laid the ball on a plate for him.
Turriff Utd: Coutts, Davidson, Allan, Bowden, Cumming, Herd (Gray 67), McKenna, Young, Harris, Mackie, Brownie
Subs: Allan, Shand, McKibben, McCaffrey
Inverurie Locos: Reid, Broadhurst, Forsyth, Begg, Adams, Anderson, Maitland (David Ross 76), McLean (Souter 67), Gauld (Leyden), Bavidge, Donaldson
Subs: Young, Matheson
This Saturday, the final match before Christmas is a home meeting with a lowly but free scoring Rothes who’ve netted seven in two outings. Messrs Coull and Buchan went out of their way to praise the travelling support at Turriff. The message must be get up early and get your shopping done so you’re free for Harlaw Park in the afternoon!