Brechin City got back to winning ways with a comfortable 4-0 home victory over basement club Fort William in a performance which delighted manager Andy Kirk.
The Glebe Park men, looking to bounce back after defeats against Fraserburgh and Formartine, proved too strong for Fort who had new boss Shadab Iftikhar in the dugout for the first time.
Kirk said: “I was very pleased with the result and I felt that the level of our performance was very good.
“The energy levels were good, we’ve scored four goals and we’ve kept a clean sheet so I have to be happy.
“We’d three new players making their home debuts and I thought that all three did exceptionally well.
“It was important that we added to the squad to get a bit of freshness in and I was very pleased with their performances.
“It was also very pleasing to see Garry Wood grab a hat-trick and I was delighted for young Ewan Loudon who also got on the scoresheet.
“He’s been restricted to very few appearances this season but he showed great energy and enthusiasm when he came on which caused Fort William problems.”
City with new players Nathan Cooney, Seth Patrick and a young trialist making their home debuts had the vast majority of pressure and possession in the opening 45 minutes and went in at the interval 1-0 up, that goal arriving in the 24th minute when Wood glanced a header into the bottom corner of the net.
The visitors task was made much harder at the beginning of the second-half when Yves Zama was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Jamie Bain.
City made their extra man count, doubling their advantage in the 68th minute when Wood was on the mark again, blasting the ball home from close-range.
The ex-Montrose striker grabbed his first City hat-trick shortly afterwards when he converted from the penalty spot after Loudon had been brought down in the box.
It was all City at this stage with Loudon scoring the final goal right on the final whistle.
Despite their heavy defeat, Fort William boss Iftikhar found positives to take from the match.
He said: “We’re a completely new team and the players have still to really get to know each other but I was very pleased with their effort and commitment against a very good side.”
Rothes 3-0 Huntly
A brace from Gary Kerr and a further strike from Alan Pollock saw Rothes record a third straight home win over Huntly.
Manager Ross Jack was pleased to see 31-year-old Kerr keeping up a good run of form with four goals in the last four games.
He said: “He’s on a good run of form of late and I’m delighted for him as it was also his birthday.
“We started off well and Huntly came back into the game. the goal before half time was very important for us and it changed the game and I thought we were very professional in the second half.”
Jack was full of praise for forward Greg Morrison who played a part in all three goals.
He said: “He’s got an amazing work rate and you can that when he’s setting up goals for everyone else. He’s a huge asset for us and is setting a good example on the pitch and he knows the goals will come after nearly three months out injured.”
With over a minute gone, Rothes’ Sean McCarthy handled outside the box. The keeper was cautioned by referee Dan McFarlane and from the resultant free kick, Andrew Hunter curled over.
Rothes took the lead after seven minutes when a long throw from Craig Cormack was flicked on by Morrison for Kerr to head home from close range.
Midway through the half, Huntly were looking for an equaliser and Gavin Elphinstone and Andrew Hunter both saw effort blocked in quick succession.
Kerr added his second three minutes before the interval when he was given time and space to fire a low shot in off the post for his sixth of the season.
Minutes after the break, Hunter was again denied this time courtesy of a McCarthy save before Robbie Foster curled wide from the rebound.
Rothes wrapped up the win with four minutes remaining. Morrison again turned provider bursting down the right flank and his cross was met by Pollock who fired in his seventh of the campaign.
Huntly manager Allan Hale admitted he was unhappy with the first half display from his side.
He said: “It was embarrassing with a lack or real organisation and leadership.
“We’ve worked on our defensive structure for the last eight or nine training sessions and you wouldn’t have thought it look at the first 45 minutes.
“We made the tactical change at half-time and we were marginally better and more organised.”