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Highland League: Brechin and Formartine claim wins; Fraserburgh held by Clach

Brechin are four points clear at the top of the table after a 3-1 victory against Rothes at Glebe Park.

Ewan Louden was on target for Brechin City. Image: Jasperimage.
Ewan Louden was on target for Brechin City. Image: Jasperimage.

Brechin City maintained their position at the top of the Breedon Highland League table following a 3-1 victory against Rothes at Glebe Park.

The Speysiders started the game well and were a touch unfortunate to find themselves behind after 22 minutes when Ewan Loudon ran 25 yards before unleashing a blistering right-foot drive past Rothes keeper Sean McCarthey to make it 1-0 at the interval.

Brechin were awarded a penalty six minutes into the second half after Marc Scott was upended in the box but McCarthy did well to save Grady McGrath’s spot-kick.

Loudon got his second in the 69th minute when he slotted home a Fraser MacLeod corner.

A further goal from substitute Murray MacKintosh ten minutes later wrapped up the points for the hosts with Greg Morrison scoring a late consolation for the visitors.

Brechin boss Gavin Price said: “I’m delighted to get the victory and the three points but I thought that we were almost playing in slow motion in the first half.

“We were much improved in the second half although the penalty miss set us back again so I was pleased when the second goal went.

“Jamie Richardson came on and showed that he can be a real livewire and I was also delighted to see Murray MacKintosh come on and score a goal.

“We’ve made a number of additions to the squad in the last few weeks which adds real depth as we were a bit light on numbers.

The lads in possession of the jerseys know that they have to perform to the highest standards if they want to keep their places in the side.”

Rothes stand-in boss Bobby Beckwith said: “I thought we started the game really well and dominated the opening 25 minutes when we had a couple of good chances but we just couldn’t put the ball in the net.

“Brechin then took the lead but we were still well in the match for the rest of the half and into the second half but I was really disappointed in the manner in which we lost a further two goals which were definitely preventable.”

Formartine United 6-2 Keith

Formartine recovered from a goal lost inside 100 seconds to hit Keith with a second half blitz.

Aberdeen loan striker Aaron Reid hit a 14 minute debut hat-trick, while fellow loanee Adam Emslie also hit the target as the Pitmedden outfit kept their title challenge well on track with a 6-2 win.

Manager Stuart Anderson said: “It was two very different halves with Keith the better team in the first half.

“They were unlucky not to be 2-0 up, we didn’t seem to get going.

“The second half we were great, really good going forward, and that’s the standards we expect and want.

“We all know what Aaron(Reid) is about, and hopefully he can go on and have a good second half of the season for us.”

Formartine manager Stuart Anderson. Image: Kenny Elric/DC Thomson.

The Maroons grabbed the early opener when Nathan McKeown neatly lobbed the ball home.

In the fourth minute Adam Morrison headed home only for the goal to be chalked off for offside.

Shortly afterwards home goalkeeper Ewen MacDonald threw the ball onto the back of Mikey Taylor’s head and the ball landed in the net but the referee deemed it a foul by the striker.

It was all square after 24 minutes when Emslie, who is also on loan from Aberdeen, fired home from 16 yards.

Formartine came out with all guns blazing in the second half and netted four goals in the space of 17 minutes.

Reid crashed home his first, then Aidan Combe quickly followed up with another, before Reid scored with a stunning strike from from out on the left wing, going on to sew up his debut treble.

Brody Alberts netted Formartine’s sixth in the latter stages before Kieran Yeats netted a small of crumb of comfort for Keith at the death.

Keith boss Craig Ewen said: “We played really well in the first half, and we were really unlucky not to go in ahead at half-time.

“Adam Morrison seemed to score a good second goal, we’ll have to see in the video if it was offside.

“Then the goalie throws the ball off the back of Mikey Taylor’s head, it’s in the net, but a foul’s given.

“We knew they’d come out fast in the second half, and they blitzed us with the goals though we didn’t defend well.

“Credit to Formartine, some of their goals were good and they were excellent in the second half.”

Fraserburgh 2-2 Clachnacuddin

A dramatic ending saw Fraserburgh and Clachnacuddin share the spoils in a 2-2 draw which left both managers cursing missed chances and poor defending.

For Broch boss Mark Cowie there was anger at the concession of a 93rd minute leveller as his side didn’t heed his half time warning.

He said: “We weren’t at it today. We didn’t create much with our first half dominance and the guys were warned at half time if we didn’t improve what would happen and so it turned out.

“We keep giving away cheap goals and we’re not clinical enough up front.

“If we play like that at Turriff next week, we won’t get anything from the game.”

The Broch controlled large parts of the first half, but clear-cut chances were at a premium.

Jamie Beagrie saw his header from a Scott Barbour corner cleared off the line while at the other end Lewis Mackenzie forced Joe Barbour into a good save.

The deadlock was broken on 41 minutes when Willie West picked up a clearance and volleyed past Danny Gillian from 18 yards into the far corner of the net.

Clach levelled four minutes after the restart.

Rorie Macleod found Lewis Mackenzie with a through ball and he raced clear of two Fraserburgh defenders before planting the ball beyond Joe Barbour.

Things got worse for the home side on 57 minutes when a high challenge by Sean Butcher on Fergus Adams resulted in a red card.

Clach were in the ascendancy and went close through Lewis Mackenzie and Kieran Chalmers to taking the lead.

Ryan Sargent passed up a glorious opportunity for the Broch on 81 minutes when his penalty, awarded for handball by Harry Nicholson, hit the underside of the crossbar and was cleared.

Fraserburgh thought they had pinched all three points in the 90th minute.

Willie West’s cross fell to Logan Watt ten yards out and he steered the ball past Gillan into the bottom right corner.

But the visitors rallied in the 93rd minute when the home side failed the clear their lines and Dylan Mackenzie headed home Connor Bunce’s cross to snatch a share of the points.

Clach manager Conor Gethins said: “We had the majority of the second half and created the better chances but didn’t take them.

“They had one chance at the end which they took.

“The best thing for me was that we rallied right at the end and didn’t crumble like the previous two weeks to get a deserved point at a difficult venue.”