Locos were unable to capitalise on taking an early lead against title hopefuls Brechin City, falling to a heavy defeat at Glebe Park. Having gone behind shortly before the break, the Railwaymen were unable to get back into the game and two late goals added extra gloss to the scoreline for the hosts.
Andy Low fielded the same team who breezed past Strathspey Thistle last week and they got themselves in front after just four minutes. Thomas Reid’s delivery from the left wasn’t held by keeper Lenny Wilson and the ball dropped to Lloyd Robertson who turned sharply to score.
Brechin looked to hit back immediately, Marc Scott’s effort being pushed onto the post by Andy Reid before the equalizer came in the 11th minute. A corner wasn’t fully cleared and when the ball was sent back into the box, Ewan Loudon was on hand to flick the ball home from close range. After the early goals, the game settled down a bit, with chances at a premium. Michael Cruickshank fired a left footed volley narrowly wide while at the other end Sam Robertson looped a header onto the roof of the net.
A few minutes from the break the Hedgemen took the lead. With Locos appealing for offside, Loudon raced into the penalty area, knocked the ball past Andy Reid before going over the keeper. The referee immediately pointed to the spot and Loudon picked himself up to put the penalty away.
Locos were still in the game at half time but hadn’t really tested Wilson since that early goal. The next goal was always going to be crucial and it went the home side’s way seven minutes after the break. Anthony McDonald played Marc Scott through on goal in a central position. As Reid came out, Scott took the ball around him before slotting home.
It was going to be a tough ask for the Railwaymen to take anything from the game now but they stuck to their task without causing Wilson too many problems. A good move saw Nathan Meres in a promising position but the defence were able to get back to block his effort with Jonny Smith waiting in the middle. Smith himself had an effort from a free kick 25 yards from goal but Wilson was behind it to make a routine save.
At the other end, the hosts pace was continuing to cause problems and they were in the enviable position of being to introduce top scorer Grady McGrath from the bench. Reid was largely untroubled though, until the final few minutes when he was beaten by a fine Kieran Inglis finish before Inglis turned provider, delivering a free kick from the left that Jamie Bain glanced home in the dying seconds.
Locos will be disappointed with the manner and timing of the goals conceded and although the scoreline perhaps flattered Brechin a little, having edged in front late in the first half, they showed why they are unbeaten and chasing down the title. These two teams meet again in a fortnight in the semi-final of the Highland League Cup at Harlaw Park but before that Locos welcome Nairn County next week.
Brechin City: Wilson, Bain, Koutsimouka, Cooney, Scott (Thomson), McDonald (Biabi), Inglis, Cruickshank, MacLeod, Loudon (McGrath), Northcott
Unused Subs: Ferguson, Naglik, Easton
Locos: A Reid, T Reid, Mitchell, Souter, S Robertson (Petermann), J Smith, Burnett, Wilson (B Smith), Michie, Meres, L Robertson (Thain)
Unused Subs: Halliday, Mason, Shingler