Impressive display was 'win for Willie'
BRORA Rangers put recent poor performances at Harwell Park well behind them with an imperious performance at Inverurie, during which they won 6-1.
A Dale Gillespie hat trick supported by strikes from Jordan Macrae, Martin MacLean and Ally MacDonald secured the victory and saw the Cattachs climb back to the top of the table.
Inverurie did threaten in parts and Joe Malin made some superb saves, but all 14 of the Brora players who took the field deserve the utmost credit for the performance.
It was a victory tainted with sadness as it was the team's first game since lifelong supporter Willie Sutherland died in a tragic boating accident earlier in the week.
Brora manager Steven Mackay dedicated the victory to the memory of Willie.
Mackay said: "That win was for Willie, it really was as good as it gets outwith the goal we conceded.
"The boys showed great character and were mindful of the tragedy in the village."
This was always going to be a key game for the Cattachs as Inverurie are title contenders and went into the game only three points behind the visitors.
Brora started very brightly and with John Pickles pushed up into midfield, they were always going to exploit the right flank and it was this tactic which lead to the opener.
Pickles and Tom Kelly combined well on the right and a Pickles cross was well met by Macrae who turned the ball home past Andy Reid in the Loco's goal.
On 28 minutes Gillespie struck a superb drive home, although Reid was a little unlucky as the ball bobbled before slipping over his outstretched body. Brora extended their lead further when James Wallace was jumped on carelessly by Ryan Broadhurst and Gillespie converted the resultant spot kick.
After the break, the home side came out and showed a little more purpose and pulled one back in 55 minutes after Colin Macrae beat Malin with a well taken strike.
Brora, however, put the game beyond a contest when Martin Maclean struck a beautiful fourth and Gillespie nailed his hat trick with a curling free kick which nestled in the top right of the goal, well beyond the reach of the goalkeeper.
The sixth goal arrived when Bjorn Wagenaar sent over a corner which curled and dipped, and was undefendable, with the ball hitting the underside of the bar and falling to MacDonald who slotted it easily home from close range.
This was an imperious performance from Brora Rangers. So good was their passing, they were only caught offside once all game and they won the applause from the neutral supporters who recognised the quality of the performance.
Inverurie manager Neil Cooper acknowledged Brora superiority and that they thoroughly deserved their victory, playing so well as a team.
Brora take on Inverness Caley Thistle in the final of the Pat Munro North of Scotland Cup at Forres on Sunday, kick off 3pm.
Related article: Tributes pour in for fisherman in Brora tragedy