Brechin City Football Club

Glebe Park, Brechin, Angus DD9 6BJ

Tel : 01356 623344
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Brechin City 1 Raith Rovers 0

Match Report - By Steven Mew

Brechin were looking to make it three wins on the trot against bottom 3 opposition with a victory over Raith Rovers this afternoon and City fans were not to be disappointed as the home side grinded out a win against their struggling opponents. Raith, currently managerless after Levein left to fill the vacant manager’s role at Dundee United last week, have been struggling in the league despite their confidence boosting victory over local rivals Cowdenbeath last Saturday.

City were also narrow victors over their near neighbours Forfar last week-end and another victory mid-week against Dundee United in the Forfarshire Cup meant confidence was high ahead of the match against the Starks Park side.

City gaffer Michael O’Neill made two changes from the side which defeated Forfar with Steven Hampshire coming in for Paddy Connolly and Charlie King replacing the injured Darren Smith. The Raith starting eleven included two former City players, in fans favourite Kevin ‘Fozzie’ Fotheringham and Iain Davidson, who wasn’t really given much of a chance at Glebe Park.

The game was only 20 seconds old when former City man Iain Davidson limped off the park and had to be given treatment, however, he was able to continue.

It was Brechin who started off the brighter of the two teams and they got off to the perfect start when they opened the scoring after only 4 minutes. Some good work by Russell down the left resulted in Fotheringham clearing the ball away from Hampshire. However, the ball fell for Russell on the edge of the box and his weak shot was fumbled by Michael Brown and Charlie King was the quickest to react as he prodded the ball into the net from a few yards out.

The visitors’ first real chance of the match arrived after 10 minutes when a long ball from defence was flicked on by Armand One and into the path of on loan Hearts man Hjalmar Thorarinsson, but his shot went high and wide of the goal. Five minutes later Chris Silvestro also had a pop from distance but his shot also went over the bar.

City could have doubled their advantage just a few minutes later thanks to some suicidal defending by Mark Campbell. A long ball upfield from Steven Ferguson went right over the head of Campbell and into the path of Russell and with Michael Brown a significant distance from his line, the on-form striker lobbed just wide of the post.

Michael Brown could consider himself fortunate not to have cost Raith another goal as City had the ball in the net again after 25 minutes. A low shot from Charlie King spilled out the grasp of Brown and Iain Russell was on hand to slide the ball into the net, but the referee disallowed the goal and awarded a free-kick, despite Michael Brown only having one hand on the ball.

There was a huge let-off for the City defence just a couple of minutes later when Ian Davidson’s pass found One wide on the right and the tricky striker got the better of Callaghan before whipping the ball right across the goal but there were no takers and the ball went out for a goal-kick, much to the relief of the City supporters in attendance.

The Raith defence were finding it increasingly difficult to deal with the long balls and Iain Russell’s effort went wide of the post after he was set up by Charlie King.

As the first half drew to a close City skipper Steven Ferguson was booked for a foul on Thorarinsson and the resulting free kick by Kevin Fotheringham went over the bar from 25 yards. Referee Eddie Smith also dished out a yellow card to Mark Campbell for a mis-timed challenge on the stroke of half time.

City went in at the break deservedly ahead and the way things were going you would think City could go and net another goal to put the game beyond doubt. However, it was Raith started the second half very well and almost immediately put the City rearguard under some intense pressure.

Former City favourite Kevin Fotheringham pushed forward with the ball and his eventual effort from outside the area was comfortably saved by Nelson in the City goal. This was amazingly his first call into action as the visitors didn’t threaten the City goal in the first half.

Armand One proved to be a real thorn in City’s flesh throughout the game and the big striker’s effort from just inside the box was easily gathered by Craig Nelson.

Raith may have had the bulk of the possession but City soaked up the pressure and ventured forward on the counter attack and nearly doubled their advantage just before the hour mark when Steven Hampshire beat a couple of Raith defenders but his shot never really troubled Brown in the visitors goal.

Just a couple of minutes later City came even closer to a second goal when Scott Walker’s header flew to the unmarked Iain Russell at the back-post but his header somehow hit the post from just a couple of yards out.

Some supporters may complain of the long ball game but it was clearly working against a Raith defence who were having trouble keeping tabs on Iain Russell who was once again on the end of a ball from defence, but his shot was palmed away by Brown with no City players there to take advantage.

Despite Raith’s domination, it was City who continued to create all of the chances and Russell really should have netted with quarter of an hour to go when he jinked past Fortheringham and Wilson and with only the keeper to beat, his shot flew over the bar with the goal gaping.

Both sides made changes in the last 10 minutes but City continued to threaten Brown in the Raith goal when Kevin Byers had a shot from the edge of the area which Brown saved at the second attempt.

As the game drew to a close, Iain Russell was booked for diving as he fell to ground when played through on goal and in the dying seconds Mark Campbell headed over from Steven Bonar’s corner from the right.

After minutes of whistling from the City support, the referee eventually blew for the full time whistle. It was a hard-fought victory for City and while Raith had much of the possession in the second half, they created very little chances as their attacks were fizzled out by the City defence at every opportunity.

City remain firmly in 4th place but Ayr’s defeat at home to Alloa meant City closed the gap to only one point between the two sides.

Next up for City is a home tie against 3rd division outfit Queens Park in the first round of the Scottish Cup. The ‘Spiders’ have picked up a few good results in recent weeks but the supporters will be fully expecting a home win against lower league opposition.

Speaking to the Raith Rovers website after the game, City gaffer Michael O'Neill said:

“Obviously I’m delighted to get the win. It was a hard fought game but we worked hard, got ourselves ahead and, although at times we gave up a lot of territory and possession, we did create an awful lot of chances. I think we had 5 or 6 clear cut chances.

“I’m sure they’ll be disappointed because they’ll feel that they had a lot of possession and maybe felt they dominated but I thought our back three were magnificent,. I thought we defended all the crosses excellently and at the end of the day Craig Nelson didn’t have an awful lot to do.”

Other Results - Bell's League Division 2

Ayr United 0 Alloa Athletic 1

Alloa pick up a fine win at Somerset which allows City to close the gap between themselves and Ayr to just one point.

Cowdenbeath 3 Forfar Athletic 2

A last minute Gomis goal downs Forfar.

Stirling Albion 2 Morton 1

Things are getting very interesting at the top...

Stranraer 2 Peterhead 1

Stranraer pick up a vital three points at home to the Blue Toon.


11 November 2006
Carnegie Fuels Stadium at Glebe Park
Attendance: 745
Charlie King 4

Brechin City

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


  • On: Chris Geddes
    Off: Steve Hampshire ( 79 )
  • On: Scott Devlin
    Off: Steven Ferguson ( 84 )

Raith Rovers

1 Michael Brown
2 Craig Wilson
3 Kevin Fotheringham
4 Marvin Andrews
5 Mark Campbell
6 Iain Davidson
7 Brian Fairburn
8 Chris Silvestro
9 Armand One
10 Hjalmar Thorarinsson
11 Paul Currie
12 Craig Lumsden
14 Steven Bonar
15 Fraser Sargent
16 Sean Kilgannon
17 David Currie


  • On: Steven Bonar
    Off: Paul Currie ( 78 )
  • On: Fraser Sargent
    Off: Brian Fairburn ( 88 )