Brechin City’s League One title hopes took a bit of a dent against rivals Forfar Athletic following the Loons’ 3-2 derby victory at Glebe Park.
Goals from Paul McLean and Andy Jackson weren’t enough to help City bounce back from the end of their incredible unbeaten run last weekend against.
Derek Young, Chris Templeman and Darren Dods all struck for Forfar to give Dick Campbell’s troops a deserved win.
The loss leaves City eight points behind leaders Stranraer – and seven behind Greenock Morton and Forfar – but they do have a game in hand, which was due to be played against Peterhead last night (Tuesday).
Brechin boss Ray McKinnon welcomed goalscorer McLean, skipper Craig Molloy and Gary Fusco back to the starting 11, while his counterpart made just one change, ex-City midfielder Martyn Fotheringham replacing Stephen Husband, who dropped to the bench.
The home side took the lead in the fifth minute, Paul McLean blocking a Danny Denholm run and making his way towards goal before firing home from 25 yards, with veteran goal Rab Douglas unable to stop the effort despite making some contact with it.
Forfar almost drew level instantly, but Gavin Swankie fired his low effort right at Graeme Smith.
But the Loons weren’t in arrears for long, as Young saw his strike deflect off Darren McCormack and loop over Smith.
Templeman – also formerly of Glebe Park – then gave Forfar the lead just a minute later after he collected Swankie’s terrific pass through the defence, breaking the offside trap and sliding past the goalie with the Brechin defenders claiming offside.
It was a fine performance from the towering striker, and his excellent work could have put Forfar further ahead when he juggled the ball inside City’s own penalty box half a dozen times before flicking the ball over to Swankie, whose audacious attempt at a bicycle kick was luckily blocked by a defender.
Molloy and Jackson had great opportunities at the other end before half time, the former heading just over before the latter saw his effort blocked by Dods.
The second half started slowly, but it burst into life when Swankie was played through on goal by Dale Hilson, but he drove his effort into the side netting.
It was 3-1 soon after when a City attack ended with an unfortunate ricochet off the referee; that started a Forfar counter attack which ended when Templeman forced a corner.
Fotheringham sent in a stunning ball for Dods to bullet into the roof of the net.
Templeman then missed a great chance for 4-1, before substitute Robert Thomson headed just wide from a Bobby Barr corner.
Swankie had two excellent opportunities in quick succession before Jackson nodded home from a Callum Tapping corner, the latter making a very welcome return to action as a substitute after a terrible time with injury.
Steven Jackson had a good chance in the dying moments to level the game from a free kick, but his effort was disappointingly wide.