Brechin City Football Club

Glebe Park, Brechin, Angus DD9 6BJ

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Brechin City 1 Queen's Park 1

Match Report - By Steven Mew

When the draw for the first round of the Scottish Cup took place, and City were paired with Queens Park at home, supporters may not have been ecstatic with the draw but it gave City the ideal chance to advance to the next round. The winners of the tie would go on and face either Stenhousemuir or Preston Athletic, another game where City would be expected to win. However, when the draw was made, Queens had made a sticky start to their league campaign and they found themselves in 7th place. Unfortunately for the reds, Queens were on red hot form going into this match, with five wins on the trot in the league which has seen them rise up into 2nd place.

What must not be forgotten though is that despite some poor below par performances in recent weeks, City had recorded 3 wins on the bounce in the league, and 4 if you include the narrow victory over a weakened Dundee United side in the Forfarshire Cup.

Iain Russell has recently hit some form and even when he isn’t hitting the net, he contributes a lot to the team but unfortunately Iain was unavailable for this match due to a hamstring strain. David Weatherston meanwhile, was on top form for the visitors, having scored a double against Montrose last weekend.

The only other absentee for Brechin was Grant Johnson, who came back in against Dundee United and played very well, but unfortunately a scan has shown that we might be without him for the next six to eight weeks. This is a big blow to both Brechin and the player as on his day, Grant is a highly influential player. Queens gaffer Billy Stark, meanwhile, had the luxury of a full squad to choose from.

Making a return to Glebe Park was goalkeeper Mark Cairns. Mark made 45 appearances for City in the space of just over a year and a half. At the age of 37, Mark is considering hanging up his gloves at the end of the season and he has served as many as 10 clubs in Scotland throughout his career.

Amazingly given our many meetings in league business, Brechin have only met Queens Park once before in the Scottish Cup and it was exactly 50 years ago during the 1956/57 season at Hampden Park. The hoops ran out comfortably 3-0 winners against a City side that had qualified for the quarter finals of the League Cup earlier that season.

City have made a habit of scoring quite early in recent home matches but in this match it took the home side a while to adjust to the rain-sodden pitch, along with the visitors who will be more familiar with the fantastic surface of the Scottish National Stadium.

Despite both sides struggling to play decent football on the poor surface, City conjured up the first chance of the match. Craig McEwan, who was up and down the right flank constantly throughout the first half, whipped in an inviting cross which reached Chris Geddes in front of goal, but the young striker couldn’t hit the target as his shot went over the crossbar.

The visitors first corner of the game nearly resulted in the opening goal as Paul Paton’s corner kick from the left found the head of Paul Ronald at the near post, and his flick-on header skimmed the top of the crossbar with the City defence in disarray.

It was Queens who continued to threaten and they deservedly grabbed the opener with 21 minutes on the clock. Once again the City defenders failed to mark up at a corner kick and Paul Paton drilled a low pass into the path of Mark Ferry, who rifled in a stunning effort into the roof of the net to send the small band of Queen Supporters into raptures down the hedge side. The effort left City stopper Craig Nelson with absolutely no chance and the division three side were ahead.

That appeared to be the last piece of action the first half had to offer and City certainly couldn’t complain of the scoreline. They were outfought and outplayed by the lower league side and the players would have to show a bit more passion if they were to get anything out of the game as the visitors were clearly fired up for the match.

City gaffer Michael O’Neill made one change at half time, with Richard Walker coming on for Craig McEwan, who worked tirelessly on the right hand side. Richard was by far the most impressive player on the park against Dundee United last Tuesday and City fans were perhaps a little disappointed to see Richard starting on the bench for the last two matches.

The home side had much of the possession but the final ball was poor and countless crosses into the box were easily gathered by former City stopper Mark Cairns. The visitors were a little more quiet this half and City came close to an equaliser on the hour mark when Charlie King effortlessly glided past a couple of Queens defenders on the left hand side before his low shot was parried across the goal by Cairns. Unfortunately, there were no City players in the right place to take advantage of the loose ball in front of goal and the it was cleared to safety by the defence.

With news gradually filtering through that Kenny Millers brother Stuart, had given Preston a two goal lead against Stenhousemuir, this gave both sides a bigger incentive to go on and win the match.

Several minutes later City survived another scare as Craig Nelson came to the rescue. Alan Trouten ran through the centre of the pitch unchallenged and he let fly with a stupendous shot which Nelson did brilliantly well to tip over.

Trouten continued to threaten the City rearguard and this time on the right hand side he delivered an inviting cross which reached the unmarked Weatherston at the back post, but with the goal gaping, he somehow blasted over the bar when it looked easier to score.

Time was beginning to run out for Brechin and O’Neill threw on a couple of subs to try and turn things around. Kevin Byers replaced the hard working skipper Steven Ferguson while experienced hit-man Paddy Connolly replaced the disappointing Chris Geddes.

While the substitutions failed to pay off straight away, City kept plugging away and they were given the perfect opportunity to get back into the game when they were awarded a penalty ten minutes from time. As Paddy Connolly bore down on goal, he was brought down from behind by Spiders’ skipper Steven Reilly and the referee made no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Stuart Callaghan made amends for his penalty miss at Stirling by slamming the ball into the top corner. Mark Cairns had guessed the right way, but the sheer power of the spot kick beat him.

While Queens were not as impressive as they were in the first half, this was a cruel blow for the 3rd division side who probably still deserved to be ahead.

And if the visitors already felt hard done by, they narrowly escaped defeat when a perfectly legitimate goal was chalked off by referee Stevie O’Reilly. A long ball from defence looked to have been claimed by Mark Cairns, but the ball slipped out his grasp and Paddy Connolly was on hand to slot the ball into an empty net but the referee felt Connolly has fouled the keeper beforehand.

The referee blew the whistle and while some boo’s rang round Glebe Park, the supporters were reasonably glad to snatch a draw out of a game where City didn’t perform. There weren’t chants of “We’re all going to Hampden”, but the home side will consider themselves fortunate to remain in the cup and they will have to perform a lot better if they are to advance to the next round of the cup, where they would take on non-league side Preston Athletic at Glebe Park.

The replay is due to be played on Tuesday 28th November at Hampden Park.


18 November 2006
Carnegie Fuels Stadium at Glebe Park
Attendance: 515
Stuart Callaghan 79 (Pen)
Mark Ferry 21

Brechin City

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


  • On: Richard Walker
    Off: Craig McEwan ( 45 )
  • On: Paddy Connolly
    Off: Chris Geddes ( 67 )
  • On: Kevin Byers
    Off: Steven Ferguson ( 67 )

Queen's Park

1 Mark Cairns
2 Paul Paton
3 Michael Dunlop
4 Steven Reilly
5 Richard Sinclair
6 Alan Trouten
7 Stuart Kettlewell
8 Tony Quinn
9 Paul Ronald
10 David Weatherston
11 Mark Ferry
12 Damiano Agostini
14 Robert Dunn
15 Steven Canning
16 Richard Bowers
17 David Crawford


  • On: Steven Canning
    Off: Paul Ronald ( 86 )