Brechin City Football Club

Glebe Park, Brechin, Angus DD9 6BJ

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Morton 1 Brechin City 0

Match Report - By Steven Mew

Morton may have stretched their lead at the top to seven points but they were made to work hard for all three points yesterday afternoon by a determined Brechin side who worked hard for the entire 90 minutes against the league leaders.

Morton have certainly silenced their critics this season with some fantastic displays and find themselves well clear at the top of the table and unbeaten in the first quarter. With all of the other sides more than capable of beating each other, it is beginning to look like the only full timers in the league are going to run away with it with no teams putting up a real challenge.

City welcomed Stuart Ferguson back into the team after returning from injury. Michael O’Neill adopted a formation which saw White, Ward and White start in the centre of defence with Richard Walker and Stuart Ferguson playing as wing-backs. Smith, Callaghan and Devlin started in midfield while a shock pairing of Hampshire and Russell played upfront. Chris Geddes and Paddy Connolly, who have been regulars in the side this season, were relegated to the bench and Iain Russell repaid Michael O’Neill’s faith in him with a startling performance before he unfortunately hobbled off mid-way through the 2nd half. Former City favourite Chris Templeman had to settle for a place on the bench for the home side but players such as Jamie Stevenson and on loan Celt Paul McGowan were always going to ensure that the City rearguard would have a busy afternoon.

The game was delayed for ten minutes as the City team bus was held up in traffic but even once the game kicked off the City defence seemed inexistent as Morton created an opening as early as the first minute when Chris Millar’s drive was comfortably saved by Nelson in the City goal.

However, this came as a wake up call for the visitors, who started to settle down and play some decent football. John Ward got on the end of Stuart Callaghan’s looping cross and his header ended up on the roof of the net, much to the relief of Stefan Gonet, who was standing in for the injured David McGurn.

As the game went on, City were struggling to keep with the pace of the Morton attack and a few late tackles were flying in, so it came as no surprise when Callaghan was booked just before the half hour mark for a late challenge. To be fair, this particular incident didn’t merit a booking but a few City players were a little fortunate not to have been booked earlier.

The end to end nature of the match continued but with very little chances created. Jamie Stevenson’s free kick from the right was headed towards to the far corner by centre half Stewart Graecen but Nelson threw himself across the face of goal to palm the ball away for a corner kick. However, just minutes later the big defender nearly cost the home side a goal as he allowed Darren Smith to run in on goal but the winger’s shot was well fisted away by Stefan Gonet.

The game threatened to boil over several minutes later when Stuart Ferguson and Chris Millar tangled at the half way line which resulted both players squaring up to each other after Ferguson had been pushed by Millar, who was unhappy with the initial challenge. Thankfully both players had enough sense not to go any further and the referee proceeded to calm everything down.

However, Morton opened the scoring seven minutes before the break and deservedly so after dominating possession in midfield. Peter Weatherson got to the by-line but his low pass went right across the face of goal, but the ball fell for Derek Lilley at the back post who played the ball back to Jim McAlistair, and he made no mistake from 10 yards, smashing the ball low into the corner.

The second half was a fairly drab affair with both sides losing possession cheaply in midfield and creating very little chances.

Jim McAlistair’s cross was knocked back into the box by Peter Weatherson and into the path of the oncoming Paul McGowan but his low shot saved comfortably by Nelson in the Brechin goal. Then from another cross, Millar connected well but his powerful shot was blocked by Stuart Ferguson.

Iain Russell, who ran the ‘Ton defence ragged at times, unfortunately hobbled off the park with what looked to be a hamstring injury 14 minutes from time. Iain was chasing a loose ball before he broke down, clutching his hamstring. Hopefully for City it isn’t too serious.

In the closing stages, Morton were beginning to open up the Brechin defence but a combination of poor communication between the Morton attackers and some last ditch tackles by the ever impressive John Ward kept the scoreline down.

Despite the home sides domination, Brechin nearly stole an equaliser in the dying minutes when Charlie King’s swerving shot just went wide of the far post, with Gonet nowhere near it. However, Morton did have a chance to double their advantage in stoppage time when Kevin Finlayson’s awkward low shot was tipped round the post by Nelson.

One surprising thing about the match is that despite the large number of fouls committed by City, only one yellow card was shown prior to the last minute when Stuart Ferguson, David White and Darren Smith were all booked.

Morton held on to their one goal advantage for all three points and subsequently went seven points clear at the top of the table. The result also meant City dropped down to 6th in the table and a result in a fortnights time at home to Peterhead is a must if City are to keep challenging near the play-off places.

Other Results - Bell's League Division 2

Alloa Athletic 1 Stranraer 1

A late goal from former City man Alex Burns earns Stranraer a point.

Ayr United 1 Raith Rovers 0

Levein still without a win as Raith manager.

Cowdenbeath 2 Stirling Albion 2

A thoroughly entertaining affair at Central Park.

Peterhead 8 Forfar Athletic 0

The Blue Toon thump a depleted Forfar side.


30 September 2006
Cappielow Park
Attendance: 2526
Jim McAlistair 38

Brechin City

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


  • On: Charlie King
    Off: Scott Devlin ( 46 )
  • On: Chris Geddes
    Off: Scott Walker ( 73 )
  • On: Paddy Connolly
    Off: Iain Russell ( 76 )


1 Stefan Gonet
2 Peter Weatherson
3 Alex Walker
4 Ryan Harding
5 Stewart Greacen
6 Scott McLaughlin
7 Chris Millar
8 Jamie Stevenson
9 Derek Lilley
10 Paul McGowan
11 Jim McAlistair
12 Tony Baxter
14 Chris Templeman
15 Kevin Finlayson
16 Dean Keenan
17 Kenny McLean


  • On: Chris Templeman
    Off: Derek Lilley ( 62 )
  • On: Dean Keenan
    Off: Jamie Stevenson ( 85 )
  • On: Kevin Finlayson
    Off: Paul McGowan ( 87 )