Brechin City continued their perfect start to their first Highland League season as a dominant first half display saw them overcome Deveronvale 4-1 at Princess Royal Park.
The visitors were quick out of the blocks and Garry Wood scored after just two minutes when he was given space in the box to score from close range, and the striker netted a second on the quarter hour mark when he dived to head home a Makgym Kucheriavyl free-kick from ten yards.
Striker Wood was denied a first-half hat-trick by the woodwork, but Gregor Jordon made it three for the visitors ten minutes from the break when he rose unchallenged in the box to score with a six-yard header.
Vale were far better in the second half and Dane Ballard netted from the spot after Robert Scott was fouled in the box with 20 minutes remaining, and they could have had a second penalty 10 minutes later when Ross Aitken looked to have been impeded.
However, substitute Evan Galasso scored in injury time to add a fourth for the visitors.
Despite leading by three goals at the break, Brechin manager Andy Kirk was not impressed by his team’s first half showing as he felt they should have scored at least a couple more times.
He said “We should have been more ruthless as we didn’t perform at all and credit to Deveronvale getting the goal back to give them something to fight for, but the main thing we need to do is keep winning games and get points on the board.
“But my players have a lot more to give than what was shown here”.
Vale manager Craig Stewart was disappointed to lose four goals, saying the three conceded in the first half were criminal and at this level his players need to defend their box far better.
He said: “We gave Brechin far too much respect as our game plan went out the window, but we were far better in the second half, got a goal back and should have had another stonewall penalty which wasn’t given.
“It could have set up an exciting last ten minutes, but it was not to be with the first half goals conceded being our downfall.”
Huntly make it seven points from three games with late win over Lossiemouth
A stoppage-time winner from substitute Gavin Elphinstone saw Huntly record successive league wins for the first time since October 2019 with a 2-1 victory over Lossiemouth.
The Black and Golds have taken seven points from their first three fixtures and manager Allan Hale was delighted to keep their unbeaten start to the season going.
He said: “To say we had to work for it would be an understatement – Lossie were by far the better team in the first half and deservedly went ahead.”
Lossiemouth broke the deadlock after 26 minutes. Some good build-up play started down the left flank was finished off by Ryan Stuart, who kept up his fine start to the season with his fourth goal in as many games.
The lead lasted only seven minutes. A Marcus Goodall corner was swung into the visitors’ goalmouth and Glenn Murison headed home for his first league goal since October 2019.
Huntly made a change at the interval with Caiden Imbert-Thomas replaced by Reece McKeown. McKeown had only been on the pitch for eight minutes and came close to getting on the scoresheet when he chipped a shot beyond Logan Ross, only to see his shot come back off the crossbar.
Huntly would secure all three points in dramatic fashion in stoppage time. Substitute Elphinstone went on a mazy run, cutting in from the right before unleashing a great strike for his first league goal for the club.
Hale was pleased to see a positive impact from his squad with changes made in the second half paying off.
He added: “We’ve had to utilise our squad depth today and it was that quality we have in our squad which has helped us win the game.
“In the last 10 minutes, we felt we needed Gavin’s pace in behind. I’m delighted for him, he’s got a tremendous attitude, is well respected here and I’m delighted to get another three points.”
After a share of the points against Inverurie Loco Works a week earlier, Lossiemouth manager Joe Russell was disappointed not to leave Christie Park with another draw.
He said: “The players are gutted, they worked really hard and deserved to get something out of the game.
“We had an opportunity in the first half to put a bit of distance between ourselves and Huntly before they equalised. Our three forwards have worked really hard and the goal we scored was a good finish from Ryan Stuart and I hope he keeps up that scoring form.”