Brechin City started their time in the Highland League with an 3-1 win over Turriff United at Glebe Park.
The Hedgemen, who finished the encounter with 10 men, netted through Gregor Jordan, Marc Scott and Rory Currie with Rory Brown on target for the visitors.
Brechin’s ambition this season is to win promotion back to the SPFL following their relegation in May and this was just the start Andy Kirk’s side desired.
Brechin made an imposing start with Max Kucheriavyi scuffing an effort wide in the early stages before visiting goalkeeper David Dey turned away a Garry Wood shot.
Turriff were energetic and looked to work the ball into striker Matthew McDonald, but for spells of the first period they were largely starved of possession.
Midway through the half Dey was called into action again when Kieran Inglis fired straight at the custodian after a good break down the right flank by Kucheriavyi.
City starting 11: Wills, Bain, Inglis, Davidson (C), Kucheriavyi, Jordan, Wood, Paton, Currie, Milne, Scott.
Subs: Mackintosh, Galasso, Bollan
— Brechin City FC (@BrechinCityFC) July 24, 2021
Turriff’s goal was leading an increasingly charmed life.
On 26 minutes with Jamie Bain’s cross from the left came through to Scott at the back post, Dey made an excellent save to deny the winger and Rory Currie’s rebound was headed over by Dylan Stuart.
But on the half hour mark Brechin did make the breakthrough with a corner knocked down by Currie and Jordan was first to react and finish from close range.
Todays team v Brechin City as we make our return to competitive league football… pic.twitter.com/LBy6DL6hPr
— Turriff United Football Club (@TurriffUnitedFC) July 24, 2021
Seconds later it was 2-0 when Wood’s shot was deflected and Jamie Lennox and Stuart collided when trying to clear which allowed Scott to finish.
However, Turriff responded and with their first meaningful effort they pulled a goal back in the 42nd minute.
Jordan Cooper found McDonald in the box and his low ball across the face of goal was turned in by Brown.
Four minutes after the restart Brechin notched their third with Wood finding space on the right side of the area after slack play from the visitors and his cutback was lashed into the roof of the net by Currie.
But on 52 minutes the Hedgemen were reduced to 10 men when on loan Aberdeen midfielder Jack Milne received a second yellow card from referee Liam Duncan for catching Jamie Lennox in a challenge.
Soon after the dismissal Wood went close to scoring a fourth, but his attempted lob drifted narrowly over.
Turriff tried to put the squeeze on Brechin and they had the ball in the net midway through the second half, but it was ruled out for offside.
Keir Smith’s header from Murray Esson’s corner was tipped onto the crossbar by goalkeeper Jack Wills, but Lennox was flagged offside after turning the rebound home.
Turriff kept plugging away in the closing stages as they tried to mount a comeback, but their efforts were to no avail.