There were grounds for optimism from Brechin City’s display against Ayr United despite the Honest Men defeating City 2-1.
Robert Thomson scored a fine goal to level Allan Forrest’s early opener but old City favourite Alan Trouten struck from the penalty spot to give United their second victory over Brechin in as many weeks.
Goalkeeper Graeme Smith was sent off late on and he will miss the next two games.
There were changes due after the heavy loss to Dunfermline a week previously but Darren Dods’s plans had to be reshuffled just 10 minutes before the kick-off as Ross Perry went down injured in he warm-up.
The returning Gary Fusco had to be pushed out to right back with Jamie Montgomery moving into midfield and the youngster had an impressive outing.
Ayr had the opening chances at Somerset Park as Crawford, Morre and Trouten all had efforts that didn’t really bother the Brechin stopper.
Thomson soon struck wide at the end of a decent move by the visitors - their first effective foray forward.
Darren McCormack forced a save from Fleming with his blistering effort before Montgomery lifted his shot just over the crossbar.
Craig Moore lost a one-on-one with Smith in the Brechin goal with the ball rebounding out off of McCormack for a corner.
Fusco got his head to the resultant corner but Brian Gilmour was able to get the ball back across goal, with Forrest nodding in from six yards out after easily shedding his marker.
The visitors had all the pressure after the goal but couldn’t make it count.
Montgomery’s shot was cleared off the line before Andy Jackson was called offside following a delicious exchange with Thomson.
United had to remain resolute as the first period drew to a close with City well on top.
It was more of the same after the break with the effervescent Fusco whipping two crosses in that didn’t amount to anything in the way of clear-cut chances.
Moore had the ball in the net for Ayr shortly after this but he was flagged offside by the referee’s assistant.
Skipper Craig Molloy created a wonderful equaliser just inside 70 minutes, battling in the midfield to win the ball before dinking a beautiful chip into the path of Thomson; the striker beat the goalie to the ball, nodded it past ham and tapped it into the goal.
It was the least City deserved but luck hasn’t been their friend so far in Dods’s tenure, with the player-boss bringing routen down inside the box.
Trouten hammered the ball home from the penalty spot to restore Ayr’s lead, celebrating in a low-key way against his former teammates.
Jackson couldn’t quite connect to Thomson’s lay-off as the away side pressed for an immediate equaliser.
And it was that push for a leveller that saw Smith given a straight red card.
Smith was beckoned forward at a corner and, after a poor corner, the keeper gave away a foul on the edge of the box before elbowing Peter Murphy.
He was sent off immediately and will face a two-game suspension.
Cowdenbeath’s heavy defeat to Fife rivals Dunfermline means Brechin were actually lifted from the bottom of the League One table on goal difference despite this loss.
They welcome Airdrieonians to Glebe Park this Saturday and, with the Diamonds not quite sparkling just yet, the improving City side will fancy their chances of earning their first points of the season.