Airdrie United 6 Brechin City 0

What a week it has been for Airdrie's Martin Hardie. Last Saturday he was sent off at Stranraer ; during the week the league rescinded the red card ; and today he played from the off and scored a fantastic hat-trick. It is said that truth is stranger than fiction!

Brechin have yet to win a match in this division this season, and today Airdrie inflicted upon them their worst defeat of the season so far.

Yet despite Airdrie's obvious dominance, they took the best part of half an hour to break through a robust Brechin defence. In truth, however, the home side's final ball and finishing was poor in those early stages.

Eventually they scored through the right foot of Bryan Prunty after a great lay-off by Willie McLaren. Prunty was beginning to ignite the home strike force, and two minutes into the second half he added number two when he swept home a Paul Lovering knock- down.

Brechin, when they had the opportunity, played some nice passing football and were unlucky not to pull one back when Charles King's shot rebounded off the post.

However, Brechin's respite was brief and soon the action was at the other end.

After 59 minutes Hardie scored his first of the afternoon. And, even here, good fortune followed him. His first shot was on target but blocked by Craig Nelson. The keeper, though, had been unable to hold the ball and it fell kindly to Hardie who, while lying on the ground, prodded the ball home.

His second was simple by comparison. A fine lay-off by Prunty allowed Hardie to run on to the ball and hammer it home from close in. His third came after more good work from young McLaren, who seemed to take great delight in sweeping the ball across to Hardie, who clipped the ball past the keeper.

Minutes earlier McLaren himself had scored when a great combination move involving Steven McDougall and Prunty resulted in McLaren scooping the ball past the keeper.