Brechin City boss Andy Kirk was satisfied as they made a winning start to Highland League life by beating Turriff United 3-1.
The Hedgemen’s quest to return to the SPFL following last season’s relegation began with three points courtesy of goals from Gregor Jordan, Marc Scott and Rory Currie.
Brechin did finish with 10 men following on-loan Aberdeen midfielder Jack Milne’s second half sending off.
Kirk said: “We’re pleased overall, we set out to start the season well and we’ve done that by getting off to a winning start.
“We’re happy with a lot of elements of it. There are things we can improve on and we know that.
“The process for us going forward is to work on things and get to the stage where we’re happy with a lot of things.
“The winning start was important for us and I think the fans enjoyed a lot of elements of the game.
“But there’s a lot of things we can get better at and be slicker at and we’ll work to do that.
“Elements of our game in the first half especially were really good.
“We could have had a few more goals in the first half, but overall we’re pleased.”
Brechin hit the front
The home side started on the front foot, but initially found Turriff tough to breakdown.
They came close on 26 minutes with Jamie Bain’s cross from the left finding Scott at the back post, United goalkeeper David Dey made an excellent save before Dylan Stuart headed Currie’s follow-up effort off the line.
But on the half hour mark Brechin did make the breakthrough with a corner knocked down by Currie and Jordan was first to react and finish from close range.
Seconds later it was 2-0 when Garry Wood’s shot was deflected and Jamie Lennox and Stuart collided when trying to clear which allowed Scott to finish.
Turriff responded and with their first meaningful effort pulled a goal back in the 42nd minute.
Jordan Cooper found Matthew McDonald in the box and his low ball across the face of goal was turned in by Rory Brown.
Four minutes after the restart Currie scored Brechin’s third, finding the roof of the net after Wood was allowed time and space to cross from the right.
On 52 minutes Milne – who was harshly booked for a first half challenge on Stuart – received a second yellow card from referee Liam Duncan after catching Jamie Lennox.
Kirk added: “I don’t think either of them are yellow cards.
“He’s a young lad who did extremely well in the first half and will probably feel a little hard done by that he’s had to leave the game early.”
Turriff tried to turn the screw and they had the ball in the net midway through the second half, but it was ruled out for offside.
Keir Smith’s header from Murray Esson’s corner was tipped onto the crossbar by goalkeeper Jack Wills, but Lennox was flagged offside after turning the rebound home.
In the final quarter Turriff kept plugging away, but were unable to make a comeback, while Brechin threatened at times on the counter-attack with Wood and Kieran Inglis going close.
‘Times we lost the goals killed us’
Turriff manager Dean Donaldson said: “Overall I’m pleased with the performance of the team and how we worked our shape.
“But the times that we lost the goals killed us really. We lose the first and then it’s followed really quickly by the second.
“Then the third goal after the break killed us.
“The goal we scored was probably the goal of the game and was a well-worked goal.
“We scored a second and the referee says it’s offside – that’s fine – but I’m going to have a look at it because I don’t think it was.
“I think it’s onside and the referee and the linesman got it wrong and I said that to them.
“Had we got that it would have changed the game.”