Brechin City Football Club

Glebe Park, Brechin, Angus DD9 6BJ

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Stranraer 3 Brechin City 1

Match Report - By Steven Mew

Ignoring the result against Livingston in the CIS Cup, City had recorded two impressive league victories prior to this match, with a 3-1 victory down at Cowdenbeath and a 4-2 thrashing of local rivals Forfar at Glebe Park. With the City strikers hitting the net regularly, City fans were hopeful of another positive result against the Blues on Sunday. However, it was the home side who picked up all three points and manager Michael O’Neill must be alarmed at the number of goals Brechin have leaked so far this season which is costing City valuable points.

Once again the City manager had a selection headache ahead of the match with several first team defenders out with injury. Full backs Stuart Ferguson and Craig McEwan were sidelined while centre back Scott Walker was also unavailable. Other than long term absentee Steven Ferguson and midfield maestro Kevin Byers, the rest of the squad were all fit and raring to go at Stair Park. Former City player Gerry Britton, who left City to fill the vacant manager’s role at Stair Park in the summer, only had Gary McPhee out with injury.

Stranraer, on the back of a 2-0 win against Ayr United last week-end, started off the brighter of the two teams, playing the ball neatly on the deck and they took an early lead after just four minutes. Summer signing Paul McMullan made a good run down the left hand side before supplying a dangerous cross for Stranraer captain Michael Moore, who stabbed the ball past Craig Nelson at the near post.

This came as a shock to the system and the rain started battering down as City tried to get back into the game and barely two minutes later they thought they had equalised. Steven Hampshire’s effort from outside the area was parried away by keeper Alan Morrison but Chris Geddes was on hand to knock the ball into the net from the rebound, but the effort was declared offside by the stand side linesman.

City were not to be denied however as they equalised two minutes later. Paddy Connolly was put through on goal before he was brought down in the box by Robert Walker and referee Eddie Smith had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. However, Walker appeared to be the last man and it was a clear goal scoring opportunity so it was quite surprising he never picked up at least a booking. Stuart Callaghan stepped up to take the spot kick and slammed the ball high into the net for his 4th successful penalty conversion of the season, much to the delight of the hardy 35 Brechin supporters who made the long trek down.

After quite a hectic start to the match, both sides then settled down and played some good football on the deck, but it was Brechin who continued to create the chances leading up to half time. Paddy Connolly, who linked up well with Geddes during the first half, played a one-two with the youngster before striking the ball wide of the post.

City weren’t quite finished yet and had another couple of chances before the half time whistle when both Steven Hampshire and Paddy Connolly had efforts comfortably saved by the Stranraer keeper.

Garry Britton made two changes at half time, taking off injured goalkeeper Alan Morrison who was replaced by recent signing Scott Black while Dougie Ramsay made way for Stevie Aitken. Playing against the wind in the second half, City struggled to break down the home defence and constantly lost possession cheaply in midfield.

Brechin lost a goal just four minutes in the first half and did so similarly in the second as Stranraer were awarded a penalty with 49 minutes on the clock. John Ward upended Michael Moore in the box and clumsily landed on the big striker, and after a small delay, referee Eddie Smith awarded the spot kick. David Hamilton, who was in fantastic form for Stranraer last season, stepped up and stuck the ball low into the bottom corner with Craig Nelson coming agonisingly close to saving it.

Stranraer continued to play the better football with City struggling to keep up with the pace of the game. Similarly to the first half, Brechin nearly pegged Stranraer back just two minutes after the goal when Paddy Connolly’s lob over the home defence was latched onto by Chris Geddes and his low shot beat the keeper, but the ball seemed to take an age to roll towards the goal-line and Lee Sharp was on hand to clear the ball to safety.

Stranraer’s substitute keeper Scott Black then made two outstanding saves to deny City centre back Davie White. Stuart Callaghan whipped in a corner from the left hand side and it was met with a powerful volley by ‘Whitey’ which Black saved superbly. Then from another corner, Black once again had to be alert to tip White’s header over the bar.

The homester’s neat play then started to lead up to some chances. Former City man Alex Burns threatened for the Blues when his header from outside the box just dipped over the bar. Then skipper Michael Moore turned well and saw his speculative volley shave the top of the bar but City stopper Craig Nelson had it covered.

Brechin pushed desperately for an equaliser in the closing stages but were dealt a sucker punch in the last minute when Stranraer wrapped up all three points. Paul McMullan strode forward from his own half and seemed intent on wasting some time, but he ended up beating no fewer than 5 City players before sliding the ball past the oncoming Craig Nelson. It was a spectacular goal worthy of winning any match.

City were now dead and buried and the referee blew his whistle to end the match. There could be no complaints about the result as City were slack in possession and defended poorly at times, while the home side played the better football and should have really created more chances than they did.

The dilapidated City side will now have to pick themselves up for the visit of Alloa Athletic on Saturday. If City are to be challenging for the play-off’s come the end of the season, this is one of the games they will have to win.

Other Results - Bell's League Division 2

Cowdenbeath 4 Peterhead 2

Cowdenbeath once again with their scoring boots on as they hammer Peterhead.

Forfar Athletic 0 Ayr United 1

Forfar's poor start to the season continues.

Morton 4 Alloa Athletic 0

Morton cruise to victory against the wasps.

Stirling Albion 1 Raith Rovers 1

Share of the spoils at Forthbank.


3 September 2006
Stair Park
Attendance: 402
Michael Moore 4
David Hamilton 50 (Pen)
Paul McMullan 90
Stuart Callaghan 15 (Pen)

Brechin City

1 Craig Nelson
2 Richard Walker
3 Stuart Callaghan
4 John Ward
5 David White
6 Grant Johnson
7 Ross Archibald
8 Steve Hampshire
9 Paddy Connolly
10 Chris Geddes
11 Darren Smith
12 John Hillcoat
14 Scott Devlin
15 Ryan Pow
16 Charlie King
17 Iain Russell


  • On: Iain Russell
    Off: Paddy Connolly ( 72 )
  • On: Charlie King
    Off: Richard Walker ( 86 )


1 Alan Morrison
2 Will Snowdon
3 Lee Sharp
4 Mark Crilly
5 Robert Walker
6 Dougie Ramsay
7 Willie Lyle
8 David Hamilton
9 Michael Moore
10 Alex Burns
11 Paul McMullan
12 Scott Black
14 Stephen Nicholas
15 Kenny Wright
16 Stevie Aitken
17 James McKinstry


  • On: Stevie Aitken
    Off: Dougie Ramsay ( 46 )
  • On: Scott Black
    Off: Alan Morrison ( 46 )
  • On: Stephen Nicholas
    Off: Mark Crilly ( 54 )