A DREICH afternoon at The Haughs saw a bleak encounter between Turriff United and Nairn County edged by the hosts with goals either side of half time on an afternoon when both goalkeepers were rarely tested.
County very nearly found themselves behind two minutes in. Allan MacKenzie raced down the left and fed David Booth at the front post and the striker swivelled and struck the far off upright with his low shot.
The same man threatened again on 21 minutes when he got in behind the Nairn defence off a slack County throw on the right but he could only direct his low shot across Dylan Maclean and beyond the far post.
The hosts found a way to goal three minutes before half time. Allen MacKenzie's out-swinging corner from the right was met by the towering figure of Darren Wood and the unmarked defender flashed his header past Maclean.
Despite an encouraging start to the second half, County found themselves two goals down eight minutes after the turnaround. Glenn Main was dispossessed at the by-line on the right hand side by Nicholas Gray and he clipped the ball to the far post for the in-running Allen MacKenzie to turn home.
The hosts almost added to their tally on 55 minutes but Cammy Bowden's header off a free kick in from the right crashed off the crossbar.
Three minutes later, Gary Kerr slipped in Kenny McKenzie but the ball was just behind the midfielder and he drove his shot into the side-netting.
Subsitute Andrzej Kleczkowski let fly from 20 yards at the other end but he was denied by the diving Maclean.
Wayne Mackintosh and Gregg Main were introduced from the bench and the former beat Main to Kerr's through pass on 71 minutes but the 'keeper did enough to force the County skipper to divert the ball just past the post.
The hosts were reduced to 10 men on 79 minutes with Kleczkowski seeing red for kicking out at Gregg Main after Nairn were awarded a free kick.
County pressed forward in search of a way back into the game and were denied a penalty on 88 minutes after Mackintosh's drive struck Antonio Vastano on the arm in the penalty area but the referee signalled for play the continue and Turriff saw out the victory.
Turriff United - Main, Mair (Kleczkowski 55) (red 79), Herd (yellow 68), Wood (y 82), Bowden, Vastano (y 87), MacKenzie, Young, Gray (C. Booth 67), D. Booth, Allan (Smith 59) (y 90+2). Subs unused: Chalmers, Moir, Sherman (gk).
Nairn County - D. Maclean, Morganti (yellow 54), C. Maclean, S. Mackenzie, Glenn Main, Riddell, Naismith (Macrae 73), Moir (Mackintosh 56) (y 90+1), Kerr, K. McKenzie, Mackay (Gregg Main 62). Subs unused: Ednie, J. Maclean, R. Macleod (gk).
Referee - Alan Proctor.
Pictures by Donald Matheson