HUNTLY were a goal up and a man up at half-time but Cove Rangers came from behind to win 3-1.
Huntly were without defender Michael Clark through a knee injury as Ryan Stewart returned on the wing. Cove brought Daniel Park, Alan Redford and Jonathan Smith in to the starting line up following their Aberdeenshire Cup final defeat.
After eight minutes, a Dennis Wyness lay-off to Gary McGowan saw the forward blocked before the ball ricocheted to Ross Still who drilled home his fourth goal in three games.
McGowan volleyed wide in the 14th minute before Connor Scully put two headers off-target.
With four minutes of the half remaining, Daniel Park was shown a straight red card for a lunging challenge on Paul Napier. Park picked up a further red card for foul and abusive language towards assistant referee Andrew Bannerman.
Despite being a man down, Cove came out in the second half with an impressive attacking performance. With only 23 seconds gone, Mitchel Megginson got in behind the home defence before curling wide of Craig Reid.
Just three minutes later, a Scully corner was not dealt with and Harry Milne fired through a packed six yard box to put the visitors into the lead.
Dennis Wyness passed up a chance for the hosts firing straight at McKenzie while McGowan forced the Cove keeper into a diving save.
In the 72nd minute, Blair Johnston missed a challenge on Megginson just inside the box and the forward crossed into the back post for substitute Jamie Masson to head in the third.
With a minute remaining, Huntly were reduced to ten men when Ross Still, who had earlier been cautioned, was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Milne.
Huntly: Reid, Donald, B Johnston, Andrews, (McKeown 69), Adams (c), Murison, Napier, Still, Wyness, McGowan and Stewart. Unused subs: Roddie, Ewen, Ritchie, Robertson, Clark and Farquhar.
Huntly have not beaten Cove since October 2009 and co-manager Andy Roddie said: "I was really pleased with a good solid performance in the first half and the players did what we asked them to do but we shot ourselves in the foot in the second half. We're killing ourselves by giving balls away and not making the right decision in the right areas which is disappointing."