Alloa Athletic 6 Brechin City 1 - By John Hoey
15 April 2017
The Indodrill Stadium
Alloa Athletic 6
Brechin City 1
Alloa Athletic 6 Brechin City 1
Brechin City went down to their biggest defeat of the season and dropped out of the play-off positions after a heavy 6-1 loss from an in-form Alloa team who clinched runners up spot in League One following this victory.
It was a scintillating attacking performance from the hosts but City will feel really disappointed at the goals they conceded and their task was compounded by the ordering-off of keeper Graeme Smith in the 63rd minute.
City grabbed the opening goal through Andy Jackson in the 23rd minute but from then on in it was virtually all Alloa who equalised three minutes after City's opener through Stefan McCluskey with Greig Spence adding a second goal before the break.
In the second-half it was again almost entirely one-way traffic towards the City goal and further goals from Spence again, Jason Marr and a double from Iain Flannigan sealed a thoroughly deserved home win.
A play-off position is certainly still possible for City who sit on the periphery of the play-off positions and with two successive home games against Stranraer and Albion Rovers still to come, the players will no doubt want to draw a line under an uncharacteristic display against the Wasps and challenge strongly for one of those coveted play-off spots.
City manager Darren Dods made a couple of changes to the side that lost 3-1 at Airdrie last Saturday with Aaron Lynas and Ross Caldwell coming in for Willie Dyer and Gary Fusco.
The Wasps had the better of the opening stages but City had the first half-chance in the 12th minute when Chris O'Neil tried a shot from 20 yards but it lacked power and Alloa keeper Neil Parry saved easily.
Dylan Makin then had a great chance for the hosts in the 16th minute when he met a cross from Calum Waters but he was ruled offside and a minute later Kevin Cawley was clean through on goal but fluffed his shot with Smith gathering easily.
However, City grabbed the lead slightly against the run of play in the 23rd minute when Liam Watt played a good ball into the box which rebounded off defender Andy Graham into the path of Andy Jackson who picked his spot in the net from around eight yards out.
Alloa hit back straight away and they levelled the match three minutes later when a Scott Taggart shot was tipped against the bar by Smith with McCluskey on hand to slot the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
The Wasps kept up the pressure and they grabbed the lead in the 32nd minute when Waters delivered a great ball from the left into the box for the unmarked Spence who made no mistake with a low drive.
City then had to make a change five minutes before the break when Darren McCormack replaced Chris O'Neil who had picked up an injury just a couple of minutes before with the sub fitting in in central defence with Paul McLean moving to right-back, Aaron Lynas moving up to midfield and Dougie Hill reverting to left-back.
The second-half was barely a minute old before Alloa increased their advantage.
Hill conceded a free-kick wide on the right and Waters delivered another good cross into the box where Andrew Graham had a shot blocked before the ball rebounded into the path of Marr who bundled the ball over the line.
Worse was to follow for City in the 63rd minute when keeper Graeme Smith was adjudged to have impeded Wasps striker Spence in the penalty box in an off the ball incident and after consulting with his linesman referee Steven Kirkland ordered off the City stopper and awarded a penalty. Finn Graham was then replaced by Paddy O'Neil with the sub keeper having no chance with Spence's spot-kick. Shortly afterwards City made their final substitution with Alan Trouten coming on for Ross Caldwell.
The hosts then made their first substitution of the match with McCluskey being replaced by Adam Martin and the youngster was barely on the field a minute before the Wasps made it 5-1 when City conceded another free-kick at the edge of the box with Iain Flannigan stepping up to blast an great drive past O'Neil.
Alloa were forcing the City rearguard onto the defensive almost continuously with the visitors defence finding it really difficult to keep the eager Wasps forwards at bay and it was no surprise when the hosts increased their advantage in the 82nd minute when a magnificent 25 yard strike from Flannigan left O'Neil clutching at thin air.