Brechin City will go into the hat for the Scottish Cup fourth round draw after a hard-fought 3-2 win against a plucky Buckie Thistle side at Victoria Park.
Darren Dods’ men were made to fight all the way by the Highland League outfit with substitute Isaac Layne scoring the winning goal with just four minutes remaining.
This was, astonishingly, City’s first competitive victory of the season, their last win coming way back in May when they clinched promotion to the Championship after a penalty shoot-out at Alloa.
The City boss was both relieved and pleased to be in the next round of the cup after what had been a really challenging 90 minutes, and hopes that the first victory of the season will act as a springboard for further victories as the league season progresses.
“We knew that it was going to be difficult and we got off to a really bad start losing a goal after just three minutes,” he said.
“Gary Fusco misjudged the ball and there was a lack of cover which allowed their striker to score, but we came back to equalise only to lose another goal just before the break.”
“We tightened up in the second half and reduced the number of opportunities for Buckie and got ourselves back into the match with a second equaliser on the hour mark.
“Thankfully, Isaac grabbed the winner just before the end.
“He was brilliant for us in his first loan spell but he’s been in and out of the team since returning.
“But he undoubtedly changed the game for us when he came on, and hopefully he can take that form into the two matches we have against Inverness and Dundee United next week.”
John McLeod put Thistle in front after just three minutes when the City defence were caught flat-footed, but the visitors got themselves back into the match in the 22nd minute when Jordan Sinclair drilled home a left-foot drive from the edge of the box which took a slight deflection on its way into the net.
Buckie didn’t let that blow dishearten them and deservedly grabbed the lead for the second time a couple of minutes before the break when McLeod fired home from close range.
City knew they had a lot of work to do in the second half, and a change of tactics by the manager nine minutes into the half paid dividends.
Dods replaced Sinclair with Layne and played two strikers up front, with the substitute firing home the equaliser within four minutes of coming on after great play from Liam Watt.
Layne was on the mark again with just four minutes remaining when he pounced to net Brechin’s winning goal from close range.