Brechin Vics 4 Kirrie Thistle 3
Vics were back on league business after a free week last Saturday, doing well to get the better of Kirrie Thistle by the odd goal in seven.
The home side started the brighter and had a chance after three minutes when D. Ross worked his way into the box before forcing the Kirre keeper into a good save from his shot from eight yards.
The game was settling down, with both sides attacking at every opportunity.
Vics’ rearguard of P. Ross, Cairney and Gourlay were organised and coping with the Kirrie attacks.
Vics took the lead in 12 minutes with an excellent goal. Robbie threw the ball out to Strachan on the left. Strachan progressed forward, before playing in McNaught who laid the ball off to Valentine, who, in turn, switched play to Gauld.
Gauld took the ball in his stride and crossed to pick out Buggins, who slotted the ball past the Kirrie keeper.
It was all Vics at this stage and they extended their lead on 17 minutes. McKenzie won the ball in the middle of the park and drove past two defenders before unleashing a shot from 22 yards low into the corner of the net.
Kirrie were still dangerous on the break and only excellent blocks from Cairney and Gourlay maintained Vics’ lead.
Vics almost extended their lead when a D. Ross shot from 30 yards sailed high over the crossbar.
Strachan came closer still, but this time the Kirrie keeper saved his 20 yard shot.
Vics did increase their lead a minute before the break, when McNaught won the ball on the right and crossed for Buggins to score from six yards.
Vics were expecting a Kirrie onslaught in the second half, with the benefit of the strong wind and they weren’t disappointed.
Robbie produced a brilliant save from a shot from 25 yards which took a big deflection.
Kirrie were piling forward but the Vics defence were comfortably handling anything that was thrown at them.
Kirrie eventually pulled a goal back in 64 minutes when a ball into the box found Russell, who was able to gather and slot the ball past the helpless Robbie from ten yards.
Vics responded to this set-back and, two minutes later, restored their three goal advantage.
Buggins was played in down the right and his cross found McNaught, who took one touch before firing the ball past the Kirrie keeper from 18 yards.
Kirrie were continuing to drive forward but creating little in the way of chances. Vics introduced fresh legs replacing Buggins, Gauld and McNaught with Stewart, S Eaton and Cooper. The game was almost over when Kirrie gave Vics a very nervous injury time.
On 88 minutes Kirrie pulled a goal back when Atigan scored from an overhead kick from six yards, and a minute later Russell pounced to head in a near-post cross.
Although the referee played an additional five minutes injury time, Vics held out for an excellent and deserved victory.
Team - Robbie, Gauld, Cairney, P. Ross, Gourlay, Valentine, McKenzie, Buggins, McNaught, D. Ross and Strachan; subs - Cooper, S. Eaton, Stewart, Matthews and Low.