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Brechin City defeat Brora Rangers in the battle of title challengers

Brora Rangers' Tom Kelly, left, and Brechin City's Seth Patrick compete for possession
Brora Rangers' Tom Kelly, left, and Brechin City's Seth Patrick compete for possession

Brechin City defeated Brora Rangers 2-0 at Dudgeon Park in the Breedon Highland League.

Both sides started the day six points behind table toppers Fraserburgh with the Cattachs in third and the Hedgemen in fourth.

With this victory, which was secured as a result of Ewan Loudon’s brace, the Angus outfit move upto third and remain six behind the Broch. But Brora are now nine points off the pace.

Visitors take first half lead

Although Brechin started well, it was the hosts who had the first sight at goal with Andrew Macrae breaking into the box.

He found Jordan MacRae, his strike was blocked, as was Andrew Macrae’s effort on the rebound.

In the sixth minute the Cattachs threatened again with Dale Gillespie’s corner headed onto the roof of the net by Colin Williamson.

Brechin were forced to make a change after 10 minutes with Nathan Cooney departing due to injury and Cameron Ross coming on.

With his first touch Ross tested Brora goalkeeper Joe Malin with a strike from the edge of the area.

It was Brechin who took the lead midway through the first half.

The Brechin players celebrate Ewan Loudon’s goal against Brora

Garry Wood shrugged off two challenges in the middle of the park before slipping the ball to Ewan Loudon who made space for himself on the edge of the box before slotting into the bottom left corner.

The majority of the game was being played in the Brora half and Ross found space on the right side of the area, but his cross-cum-shot evaded both his team-mates and the target.

Brora also made a change before the break with manager Craig Campbell withdrawing Andrew Macrae and sending on Ali Sutherland.

A couple of minutes before the break Brechin had another chance with Max Kucheriavyi bursting down the right and crossing to the back post, but Wood miscued his finish.

Hedgemen double their lead

Brora were presented with a chance to equalise early in the second period when Hamish Thomson slipped 25 yards out and Sutherland nipped in, but his shot from the edge of the area was held by Jack Wills.

At the other end Kucheriavyi teed up Murray Mackintosh 20 yards out, but Joe Malin tipped the effort over the crossbar.

Brechin doubled their lead just before the hour mark having penned Brora in for a spell.

As the Cattachs tried to play their way out of trouble Dale Gillespie’s cross-field pass was intercepted by Loudon and he drove towards the edge of the box before firing into the bottom right corner.

Malin was required to keep the score at 2-0 on 63 minutes with Jamie Bain’s free-kick dropping for Kevin McHattie and his half volley from the edge of the are was clawed around the post by the home goalkeeper.

At the other end sub Gregor MacDonald tugged a strike from long range wide.

Brora’s Mark Nicolson, left, competes with Brechin’s Garry Wood in the air

It was a tousy encounter throughout, although referee Graham Beaton didn’t help matters with some bewildering decisions.

With 20 minutes left Wood was booked for kicking out at Harry Hennem and Martin Maclean was also yellow carded for shoving Wood in the aftermath.

Brora kept plugging away in the closing stages, but they struggled to carve out decent opportunities.

Brechin had opportunities on the counter-attack in the closing stages, sub Marc Scott powerful surge ended with him setting up Ross, but his tame effort went wide of the near post.

In the 88th minute Kucheriavyi slipped in Scott but Malin made another good stop.

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