Fraserburgh staged a remarkable comeback to claim a stunning 5-3 victory over Brechin City at Glebe Park.
Brechin had racked up a three-goal lead inside the opening 22 minutes, with a Willie West own goal and strikes from Kieran Inglis and Garry Wood punishing a lacklustre start by the visitors.
The Broch pulled one back on the half hour mark through Paul Young, before Max Kucheriavyi was dismissed for the hosts shortly before the break.
That gave Fraserburgh the impetus to take charge of the second half, and after Sean Butcher pulled another goal back they levelled with two minutes remaining through Scott Barbour’s penalty.
There was still time for it to get even better for Mark Cowie’s men, who claimed the victory thanks to Iain Davidson’s own goal, with the City skipper sent off for Barbour’s penalty which resulted in their fifth goal.
The result moves the Broch five points clear at the Highland League summit, with six points now separating them from Andy Kirk’s men.
The home side looked lively from the start, with Garry Wood forcing Paul Leask to block an effort with his legs after he had taken down a Jamie Bain throw-in.
City were not to be denied on eight minutes though. A floated cross by Kieran Inglis was met by the head of West, but he could only succeed in flicking the ball beyond Leask into the far corner.
Brechin were handed a perfect chance to double their lead six minutes later, when Murray Mackintosh’s strike cannoned into the path of Cameron Ross, who was felled inside the box by Jamie Beagrie. Inglis stepped up to take the penalty, and coolly sent Leask the wrong way.
The Angus outfit struck once again on 22 minutes. Lyall Booth saw an effort blocked, but it fell kindly into the path of Wood who hammered a low effort past Leask from 16 yards.
The Broch looked rattled by Brechin’s rapid start, with their first attempt coming on 26 minutes when Young nodded a Scott Barbour delivery wide of the post.
Brechin continued to cause no end of problems for the visitors however, and should have inflicted more damage with two quickfire chances before the half-hour mark. A Mackintosh cross was narrowly missed by the head of Iain Davidson, while Ross clipped an effort wide of target when clean through on goal.
Fraserburgh were inches from grabbing a lifeline on moments later though, with Paul Campbell’s cross met by Barbour on the first-time volley, however his effort came back off the post.
The visitors were not to be denied on 31 minutes though, with Lewis Duncan’s cross met by Young, whose header was met by a strong hand by Jack Wills, but he was unable to keep it out.
Fraserburgh were handed another boost three minutes before the break when Brechin were reduced to 10 men, with Kucheriavyi dismissed for catching Ryan Cowie with a late challenge which was deemed to be high by referee Robin Taylor.
Kirk sacrificed attacker Ross for Jack Mine at half-time in an effort to shore up his midfield, however Fraserburgh piled on the pressure.
Substitute Butcher sent an acrobatic effort over following a Cowie corner, while Duncan struck straight at Wills with a long-range strike.
The visitors set up a tense finish when they grabbed their second goal on 66 minutes, with Wills again unable to prevent a Butcher header from finding the net.
Fraserburgh rallied for a late leveller, with Grant Campbell seeing a strike blocked wide, while Aidan Combe saw a close-range effort cleared off the line by Milne.
The turnaround was completed on 88 minutes however, with Booth penalised for bringing down Aitken inside the box. Barbour stepped up and blasted high past Wills to level the scoring.
Fraserburgh were even more jubilant four minutes into stoppage time however, with Aitken’s header deflecting off Davidson and beyond Wills to put them in front.
They added a further goal three minutes later after Davidson was red carded for bringing down Barbour inside the box, with the striker stepping up to fire home his second on a memorable day for the Broch.
BRECHIN CITY (3-4-1-2) – Wills 6; Bain 6, Davidson 5, McHattie 6; Inglis 7, Mackintosh 6, Paton 6 (Cox 73), Booth 5; Kucheriavyi 5; Ross 5 (Milne 46), Wood 6 (Loudon 90). Subs not used – Cruickshank, Ross.
FRASERBURGH (4-3-3) – Leask 6; Aitken 7, Beagrie 6, West 6, Cowie 6; Cairns 6 (Combe 65), Young 8, G Campbell 7; P Campbell 6 (Butcher 52), S Barbour 8, Duncan 7 (Harris 90). Subs not used – Watt, Sargent, Davidson, J Barbour.
Referee – Robin Taylor 5
Man of the match: Paul Young