Locos secured their first Highland League point of the season with another performance in which they had to dig deep having been reduced to 10 men.
There was little between the two teams until Paul Brindle put Brora ahead from the penalty spot, after he himself had been fouled by Thomas Reid, who picked up his second yellow card. The Railwaymen rode their luck at times as they played with a man down for more than half an hour, but kept themselves in it and snatched an equaliser at the death.
The first half was an absorbing contest but neither team could trouble the opposition goalkeeper. Kyle MacLeod headed well wide with the hosts only real chance of the half, while Myles Gaffney was similarly wayward at the other end. Other than that, a Paul Coutts corner from the left caused problems in the Brora box but was eventually cleared, and Gregor MacDonald glanced a header across Zack Ellis’ goal.
Brora started the second half on the front foot and looked to apply some pressure, coming close to opening the scoring shortly after the restart. Ali Sutherland drove forward and beat Ellis, only to see his shot come back off the woodwork. It would have been a controversial goal, with Mark Souter flat out on the turf having taking a stray elbow to the head during the build up. Locos had started to work their way back into the game however, when Brindle, looking to get on the end of a Max Ewan’s ball across the box from the right, went down under pressure from Reid. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and showed a second yellow card to Reid, who had picked up a booking shortly after the break. Brindle made no mistake from the spot, taking it before Reid had even made his way from the pitch, and it was starting to look like it would be a long trip home for the dedicated Locos supporters who had travelled to Sutherland.
The hosts tried to press home their advantage, with Ellis called into action to keep out efforts from substitute Alex Cooper and Ewan, who also shot narrowly over the top as the hosts looked to put the game to bed. Locos didn’t give up though, with both Jay Halliday and Lloyd Robertson firing high. Four minutes into stoppage time Locos found the leveller. There was an element of fortune to the award of a corner but full advantage was taken as Lloyd Robertson’s delivery was met by the head of Johnny Smith, with Donald claiming the final touch as it crossed the line.
Brora felt hard done by but this was perhaps the first time Locos have had the rub of the green this season and the celebrations at the final whistle reflected just how the campaign has gone so far. This was another positive result, deserved for the effort put in, and sets up next week’s Highland League Cup quarter final at Brechin City nicely.