Peterhead may already have secured their promotion play-off spot but are in danger of going into the race for promotion to the Championship with no momentum.
The Blue Toon were punished for a dire and limp display by a Brechin side who were far hungrier for the points which took them off bottom spot in League 1.
Brechin racked up a healthy half-time lead thanks to a first-half double from Robert Thomson, along with goals by Andy Jackson and Liam Watt, with Nathan Blockley pulling one back for the visitors with a superb solo effort.
Thomson netted a third midway through the second half, consigning Peterhead to a miserable afternoon with this defeat their fourth straight loss.
Peterhead were forced to shake things up from the side that started the previous weekend’s Petrofac Cup final against Rangers due to a spate of injuries, no thanks to the Hampden pitch, with manager Jim McInally listing just five substitutes.
Leading-scorer Rory McAllister was among them, while Ally Gilchrist, Ryan Strachan and Simon Ferry were sidelined completely with the quartet replaced by Blockley, Jamie Stevenson, Leighton McIntosh and Nicky Riley.
Although the Blue Toon were aiming to regain momentum ahead of the play-offs Brechin’s need was far greater as they trailed Angus rivals Forfar Athletic by a point, and knew time was running out for them to retain their League 1 status.
From the first whistle, Brechin looked a side that knew points were needed and they raced into a fifth-minute lead when Jamie Robson flicked the ball on for Jackson to ram home his sixth goal of the season from a tight angle.
The hosts took a great lift from their early opener, and threatened again when Thomson was thwarted by a last ditch tackle by Scott Ross, before James Dale’s long-range shot was comfortably held by Graeme Smith.
The already depleted Blue Toon were dealt another blow on 18 minutes when defender Ross limped off to be replaced by youngster Marc Lawrence. Although Peterhead had their first attempt shortly afterwards, when Jordon Brown shot over following good work down the left by Shane Sutherland, there was to be no stopping the hosts doubling the lead on 21 minutes.
The wind had helped City’s early domination, and it the breeze played its part as City goalkeeper Graeme Smith launched a kick upfield which bounced its way all the way through to Thomson, and he coolly lifted the ball over the onrushing Smith and into the net.
Peterhead grabbed a lifeline on the half-hour mark in spectacular style as full back Blockley went on a marauding run past three Brechin defenders, before slotting a precise low drive past Smith.
While that goal should have given Peterhead the impetus to work their way back into the match, a defensive implosion shortly before the interval allowed the home side to ease into a comfortable lead when Thomson managed to pick out the untracked run of Watt, and he drilled low into the net from 12 yards.
Watt was involved again less than two minutes later, working the ball through to Robson who had his shot well cut out by Smith, but the ball fell perfectly for Thomson to roll home and leave the visitors stunned. Peterhead were left with a mountain to climb in the second half, and they went in search of a goal to narrow the deficit, with Sutherland’s shot easily dealt with by Smith. City always posed a greater threat when they attacked and the impressive Thomson notched his hat-trick on 66 minutes when he was released by Watt’s header, before the in-form attacker showed great composure to poke home his eighth goal in as many games, and allowing City to see out the game at walking pace.