Brechin City slipped six points behind Highland League leaders Fraserburgh after throwing a three goal lead away at Glebe Park.
City’s title hopes were dealt a blow at Glebe Park yesterday afternoon as league leaders Fraserburgh fought back from three goals down to take the points against a City side that finished the game with 9 men.
It was a match that just about had everything, but unfortunately from a City point of view the chance to go level with the Broch at the top of the table was squandered following a dismal second half showing.
Owing to injury and isolation, City were without a number of bodies for the game – namely Marc Scott, Julian Wade, Hamish Thomson and Luc Bollan.
Andy Kirk was therefore forced into making a few changes from the side that defeated Deveronvale last time out, with Kevin McHattie, Lyall Booth and Garry Wood all coming in.
In front of a strong home support, City started brightly and Garry Wood was denied by the feet of Paul Leask within the opening few minutes.
It wouldn’t be long before City opened the scoring after 9 minutes. KIERAN INGLIS fired an in-swinging cross into the box which flicked off the head of a Fraserburgh defender and into the far corner.
Barely five minutes later City were awarded a penalty when Cammie Ross was taken down just six yards from goal. Referee Robin Taylor had little hesitation in pointing to the spot and KIERAN INGLIS doubled the advantage as he sent Leask the wrong way with his penalty.
The dream start continued for the home side with a third goal after just 22 minutes. An attempted clearance cannoned off Lyall Booth into the path of GARRY WOOD who fired a shot on the turn into the bottom corner.
The Broch simply had no answer for City at this stage and barely a minute later it took a goalline clearance to deny an own goal from Kucheriavyi’s corner.
Andy Kirk’s side continued to apply the pressure with Iain Davidson unlucky not to connect with an inviting Mackintosh cross and just a minute later, Cammie Ross was played through on goal but fired his shot just wide of the far post.
After half an hour of domination from City, the visitors came back into the game and were unlucky not to pull a goal back through Scott Barbour. A cross from the right hand side found the dangerman unmarked in the box but his volley came off the post.
Barely a minute later Fraserburgh got themselves a goal back when an Owen Cairns cross was met by the head of PAUL YOUNG who found the net despite the best efforts of Wills to keep it out.
City reacted and almost regained their three goal advantage straight after the restart. Kucheriavyi showed some great footwork on the right hand side of the box before firing low across the face of goal which somehow evaded several red bodies.
On the stroke of half time, the game turned on its head as City were reduced to ten men after Kucheriavyi went in late on Ryan Cowie. After consulting with the stand-side linesman, the referee opted to issue a red card to the Ukranian youngster.
Looking to protect the lead, Andy Kirk made a change at the interval with Jack Milne replacing Cammie Ross.
Despite winning a succession of corners early in the second half, the visitors struggled to create many clear cut chances but had City pegged back in their own half with the tiring Garry Wood, who had such an impressive opening 45, cutting an isolated figure upfront.
Shortly before the hour mark Owen Cairns dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box, before Scott Barbour saw his overhead kick fall inches wide.
The lively Lewis Duncan fired a shot straight at Wills before the deficit was reduced on 66 minutes. Ross Aitken’s cross into the box found substitute SEAN BUTCHER who glanced goalwards and although Wills again got a hand to it, he was unable to keep it out.
On 73 minutes David Cox came on to replace Michael Paton to give City an extra body at the top end of the park, but they continued to struggle in the final third as the Broch continued to dominate.
With nine minutes remaining City had Jack Milne to thank for keeping the scoreline level as he made a tremendous block to deny an almost certain goal for Aidan Combe.
Fraserburgh continued to pile forward in search of what felt like an inevitable equaliser, and it arrived three minutes from time when they were awarded a penalty after Lyall Booth had brought down Ross Aitken just inside the area. Top-scorer Scott Barbour stepped up and fired high into the net to make it 3-3.
Given the way the second half had gone, City would have been content to leave with a point however the home support were stunned into silence as Fraserburgh took a dramatic lead deep into stoppage time. After an initial cross was cleared, Ross Aitken headed back into the danger area and as skipper IAIN DAVIDSON attempted to clear, he could only divert the ball into his own net.
The Broch weren’t finished there and they were awarded a penalty when Iain Davidson brought SCOTT BARBOUR down inside the box, with the defender seeing red for denying a goalscoring opportunity. Barbour dusted himself down to blast his penalty straight down the middle to round off a remarkable comeback.
The result was a damaging blow to City's title aspirations and they will now look to bounce back against Formartine United at New Lodge Park this coming Saturday.