Match Report - By Eoin McNicol
Brechin put 5 past Inverurie Loco Works to return to winning ways despite an early scare from the visitors.
Brechin came into this looking to bounce back after the frustrating stalemate at Station Park last weekend, whilst the visitors looked to continue their high scoring form following their 4-0 victory last time out.
Andy Kirk made 3 changes to his starting line-up for City’s return to Glebe park after his side failed to get on the scoresheet last week, with McHattie serving his one match suspension following his late sending off. Strikers Grady McGrath and Botti Biabi were both dropped to the bench with Cruickshank, Loudon and McDonald all coming into the starting line-up.
It was a poor opening to the game for the hosts. After a great performance last week against Nairn, Lenny Wilson made a rare mistake as he failed to hold the cross from Thomas Reid, fumbling it into the path of LLOYD ROBERTSON who capitalised on the early mistake to give his side the lead in the opening 5 minutes.
Brechin were quick to respond to going behind as Marc Scott, who led the line, forced the keeper to produce a fine save from close range as he fired his shot goalward.
After 11 minutes Kieran Inglis whipped in a great corner, with goalkeeper Andy Reid only able to punch clear as far as Koutsimouka. The Frenchman headed the ball back into the danger area before EWAN LOUDON flicked the ball into the back of the net from close range.
Half an hour in, there was a spell of dominance from Loco’s as they looked to regain their advantage. Jonathan Smith tried a chipped through ball into the path of Nathan Meres, but Lenny Wilson was quick off his line to get there first and clear the danger. A few minutes later, Wilson was called into action once again as he held a dangerous cross from Jamie Michie following a good period of play from the away side.
Just before the break, Ewan Loudon was played through 1 on 1 after a fantastic ball over the top from Cruickshank. He ran goalward and tried to skip past the keeper but was stopped in the process as Andy Reid caught him inside the box. The referee pointed to the spot instantly, giving EWAN LOUDON his second of the game as he smashed his penalty into the bottom left corner and out of the keepers reach.
Just 5 minutes into the second half, Anthony McDonald clipped a perfectly weighted through ball to MARC SCOTT. Loco’s goalkeeper rushed off of his line to deal with the danger, but Scott showed great composure as he calmly slid the ball past him and slotted home to double City’s advantage.
Brechin looked to add to their lead after Loudon won a corner for his side - the ball found Cooney free in the box who controlled the ball and looked for an opening. The defender crossed in from the by-line where the Loco’s backline had to throw their bodies to block a few City efforts before eventually clearing the ball.
Loco’s continued to look for a way back into the game, but Wilson was never really tested in the second half. A few half chances came but Brechin never looked in trouble with their 2 goal advantage.
Just over an hour in, Smith had an opportunity from a set piece in the form of a free kick from distance, which the number 10 fired straight at Wilson who gathered the ball with relative ease.
In the 87th minute, KIERAN INGLIS added another to the scoreline after he picked up the ball just inside the box before his right footed effort nestled into the far bottom corner.
Deep into injury time, Botti Biabi did well to win a free kick close to the corner flag which would be whipped in by Kieran Inglis who again put in a superb delivery. Meeting the ball was the leaping skipper JAMIE BAIN who wrapped up the scoring and the three points, guiding his bullet header into the top right corner.
Despite the blunder early on, Brechin controlled the game throughout the majority of the 90 minutes and thoroughly deserved the 3 points to keep the pressure on at the top of the table.
City are in action again in midweek as we make the relatively short journey to face Formartine United at North Lodge Park on Wednesday evening (8pm KO).
Other Results - Breedon Highland League
Banks O' Dee 2 Formartine United 3
Brechin City 5 Inverurie Locos 1
Clachnacuddin 3 Deveronvale 1
Fraserburgh 4 Keith 0
Lossiemouth 0 Brora Rangers 3
Rothes 2 Forres Mechanics 1
Turriff United 0 Buckie Thistle 1
Wick Academy 1 Nairn County 2