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Forres Mechanics manager Charlie Rowley is impressed by Brechin City and believes the Glebe Park club can win the Highland League and return to SPFL at first time of asking

By Craig Christie

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BRECHIN City are strong contenders to bounce straight back up to the SPFL, reckons Forres Mechanics boss Charlie Rowley.

Forres Mechanics' Charlie Rowley. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Forres Mechanics' Charlie Rowley. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Rowley watched his team lose 4-1 to the Glebe Park side, who were relegated from League Two to the Highland League earlier this year.

Saturday’s match has convinced the Cans manager that his team was defeated by a side which could claim the title, and play for the right to return to the Scottish League at the first time of asking.

“They’re the best team we’ve played this year by a considerable distance,” said manager Rowley.

“They were formidable, and we did exceptionally well to keep ourselves in it and get ourselves in at half-time level pegging.

“They could have ended up with a good few more, if it wasn’t for Knighty (keeper Stuart Knight).

“They are a really good side and they won’t be far away, 100 per cent. It will take a hell of a team to beat Brechin on that performance on Saturday, and I must stress on that performance because they were excellent.”

Stuart Soane’s first-half equaliser for Mechanics only delayed the inevitable as Brechin’s dominance told in the second half.

Rowley was particularly impressed by Brechin’s first scorer, Ukrainian Max Kucheriavyi, on loan from St Johnstone, who he rates as the best player he has seen in Highland League football for years.

“By all accounts St Johnstone’s chairman and Roddy Grant (Saints associate director) were there on Saturday and there’s rumours that he’s going to get taken back to St Johnstone given the way he’s been performing.

He’s just at a completely different level from where we are used to working at.

This weekend Rowley will face up to his former assistant Craig Ewen, who returns to Mosset Park as manager of Keith.

“They will be well prepared and well versed on our strengths and weaknesses. It’s a game that we need to target to win, and I’m sure they will be doing the same.”

Ross MacPherson returns for Cans after missing Brechin, but Joe Gauld (knee) and Gordon McNab (ankle) are out. Craig Dorrat and Martin Groat were on the bench last week despite having groin injuries.

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