An incredible game at Grant Park saw Lossie recover from the loss of an early goal against Brora Rangers to record their biggest win in many a season. Lossie held a slender lead at the interval but a stunning final half hour saw Nikki Smith complete his hat-trick as the hosts rattled five past a beleaguered Brora.
Shawn Scott finally served the last game of a three match suspension which had been dragged out over several weeks thanks to the weather, while Jamie Bagley injured himself in the pre-match warm up and missed out. Brora had former Lossie forward Jamie McKay in the starting line-up and the Dudgeon Parkers went into the game on the back of a 4-2 win over Strathspey Thistle.
Evidently still full of confidence following their win over Strathspey, the visitors raced into a first minute lead. Lossie were mentally still in the changing rooms when Gary Farquhar curled a free kick into the penalty area for Mark MCKERNIE to head home. Farquhar was involved minutes later when he went in heavy on Craig Masterton. The keeper was on the ground and in possession of the ball when the portly strikers’ foot connected with Mastertons head, but after treatment he was fit to carry on.
Lossie were roused into action following that cowardly challenge and equalised on eleven minutes. Martin McMullan saw his goal bound header effort saved, but Nikki SMITH was first to react to the rebound and knocked the ball in from a few yards.
The two sides then settled down in the middle of the park and spent the next twenty minutes taking wild shots at goal and committing clumsy fouls. The blustery wind and occasional rain didn’t help, but the game burst into life with ten minutes of the half left.
Lossie went ahead from a corner. Dan Smith played the ball short to John Urquhart, and his cross was headed in by Steven SIM for the host’s second goal of the game, and his second of the season.
Brora replied almost immediately. A ball over the top caused problems for the usually reliable Kevin Stuart, and his header back to Masterton fell short and allowed Liam BAXTER to steal in and fire home past the stricken keeper.
Lossie went straight up the field in the hunt of more goals and went close when Nikki Smith rattled the crossbar. In first half injury time Lossie got their third, courtesy of a Martin MCMULLAN volley.
Half time – Lossiemouth 3 Brora Rangers 2
The sides took their time to get into gear following the restart, but once Lossie got going they were unstoppable. Five goals in half an hour eased the Coasters to their biggest scoreline since a 10-1 demolition of Nairn in the mid ‘90’s.
Lossie made it 4-2 just after the hour when Stuart STRATHDEE stroked home from inside the area, accurately placing the ball past a man on the line for his second of the season.
Until this point, Brora had matched Lossie in every department and could feel aggrieved to be as much as two goals down following their performance thus far. Instead of providing a fightback, Brora completely collapsed and Lossie ran riot, scoring almost with every attack.
Goal number five started the goal glut, and was arguably the pick of the bunch. Nikki SMITH took advantage of some hopeless defending to race through on goal before curling the ball superbly past the diving McCallum and into the far corner of the goal.
Five minutes, Lossie made it six. Martin McMullan set up Nikki SMITH for a tidy finish underneath McCallum to complete his hat-trick. Almost from the restart, Lossie raced towards goal again and Martin MCMULLAN grabbed his second with a fierce shot past McCallum at the near post.
In the dying minutes, Lossie scored their eighth. The Brora defence, tired and desperate for the final whistle, stood and watched a Lossie corner sail over the box towards the far post where Kevin STUART was in unfamiliar territory, flying in to head the ball high into the net, narrowly avoiding knocking himself out on the post while delivering the knockout blow to Brora.
Full time – Lossiemouth 8 (eight) Brora Rangers 2
Lossiemouth – Craig Masterton: Steven Sim, Sam Milton, Kevin Stuart, JJ Urquhart, Martin McMullan, Tony Ross (Sean McIntosh), Dan Smith (Garry McDonald), Nikki Smith, Stuart Strathdee (Gary McNichol), Kevin Flett
Brora Rangers – Michael McCallum: Mark McKernie, Aaron Christie, Scott Begg, Scott MacAngus, Andrew Neill, Mark Lamont (Ryan Tilman), Gary Farquhar, Liam Baxter, Ross Sutter (Jason Gunn), John Cameron