Highland League leaders Fraserburgh battle back from 3-0 down to beat Brechin City and Wick Academy keep up winning run at Turriff United in Covid-hit New Year's programme
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JUST two Highland League matches defeated the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, but both produced great excitement.
The match of the day lived up to its billing in some style at Glebe Park.
Brechin City hosted leaders Fraserburgh knowing a win would bring them level with the Buchan side at the top, and they started the game in perfect fashion.
Nine minutes in the former SPFL side forced a Willie West own goal to take the lead and within five minutes they doubled their advantage through Kieran Inglis' 11th goal of the season from the spot.
Brechin looked destined for the top when Garry Wood added a third midway through the first half, but Fraserburgh had other ideas.
A Paul Young goal before half time pulled one back and City's challenge took a big hit when star man Max Kucheriavyi went in with a two-footed tackle and the St Johnstone loan winger was sent off.
It stayed at 3-1 until Broch sub Sean Butcher pulled another back midway through the second half.
Brechin hung on until the closing three minutes when they conceded a penalty and Scott Barbour converted to make it 3-3.
The visitors chased a winner and when home defender Iain Davidson forced the ball into his own net in time added on, the comeback was almost complete.
Davidson's afternoon went from bad to worse when he conceded another spot kick deep into stoppages, was shown the red card and Barbour fired home his second kick of the afternoon to seal a 5-3 success.
The result ended Brechin's unbeaten home record this season and preserved Fraserburgh's undefeated league sequence on the road.
On-form Wick made it four wins in a row and six victories in their last seven outings with a 3-2 success at Turriff.
The home side made their far-travelled opponents dig deep for the three points.
Turriff had now Huntly loan signing Reece McKeown on their bench and trialist Jack McKenzie in midfield.
Callan Gray fired United into an early lead before Wick responded quickly with a Jack Halliday double.
Halliday thought he had completed a first half hat-trick when he scored from the penalty spot, but was ordered to retake and saw his second effort saved by keeper Tim Findlay.
Into the second half, trialist McKenzie netted on his Turriff debut to make it 2-2 but again home joy was short-lived, with Gordon MacNab netting what proved to be Wick's winner.
Covid cases in the camps of eight Highland League clubs led to the postponement of all other matches on Monday.