Brechin City Football Club

Glebe Park, Brechin, Angus DD9 6BJ

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Alloa Athletic 2 Brechin City 2

Match Report - By Steven Mew

After the poor performance against Queen’s Park last week-end in the Scottish Cup, Michael O’Neill was looking for a much improved performance ahead of the league match against Alloa Athletic this afternoon.

City may have salvaged a draw against the 3rd division outfit last week-end but the disappointing factor was that the players put in a poor performance and they would have to play a lot better if they were to get anything out of this tricky match against an on-form Alloa side.

In the game between the two sides earlier in the season, City emerged victorious in a comfortable 2-0 win at Glebe Park. Despite a hefty list of players out with injury, former wasps Stuart Callaghan and Richard Walker netted to give the home side all three points.

However, after a sticky start to the season, Alloa have drastically improved. Before the match, the Clackmannanshire side had only lost one game in seven league matches and gaffer Allan Maitland picked up a thoroughly merited second division manager of the month award for October.

City gaffer Michael O’Neill made three changes from the side that were held to a draw by Queen’s Park last week. Ross Archibald came in for Craig McEwan at right back while David White had to settle for a place on the bench. Richard Walker was given a rare start and Kevin Byers replaced the injured Charlie King. Unfortunately for City, Iain Russell was again unavailable for this match due to injury.

It was a bitterly cold day at Recreation Park and with City playing against the wind in the first half; it was always going to be tough.

Brechin have made a habit of scoring early goals in recent matches but it was clear to see it just wasn’t going to happen for the visitors. City didn’t get out of first gear and Alloa were first to every loose ball, and they created the better chances as well in the opening stages.

The home side came close to the opener when a cross into the box was headed towards goal and with Nelson beaten; Darren Smith was on hand to head the ball off the line.

Unfortunately, City skipper Steven Ferguson had to be taken off after 19 minutes with a back injury, and he was replaced by Steven McManus.

The wasps continued to dictate the play in midfield and they looked the more likely side to score, and they eventually broke the deadlock after 21 minutes, courtesy of some very poor defending. A cross into the box should have been easily dealt with by the Brechin defence but the ball fell to the feet of Graeme Brown who was given far too much time to rifle a low shot into the net to give the home side a deserved lead.

You would have thought the goal would spark City to life but they continued to waste possession cheaply in midfield and the home side looked to double their advantage. But for all the possession the wasps had, they rarely threatened Nelson in the City goal.

In a rare foray up-field, both Stuart Callaghan and Steven Hampshire drilled low shots wide of the post as City chased an unlikely equaliser against the run of play.

At the other end, Craig Nelson had to be alert to tip over a powerful shot from over the bar and ‘Nelly’ also saved a couple of tame low shots comfortably as the first half drew to a close.

With City one down and rarely threatening the Alloa defence, Michael O’Neill had to make tactical changes at the break and regular starter Davie White came on for the disappointing Ross Archibald.

With only four minutes played in the second half, the match looked done and dusted when Alloa doubled their advantage. Once again a high ball into the box was poorly dealt with by the Brechin defence and Robert Sloan was on hand to drill in a second goal for the home side.

City started playing some good football and with an hour on the clock they pulled a goal back. Stuart Callaghan made a good run down the left before supplying an inch perfect cross for the unmarked Paddy Connolly, who headed into the net, despite Allan Creer’s best efforts to keep it out.

With the Alloa midfield suddenly gone missing, City started to press for an equaliser and they got it 13 minutes from time when John Ward was played clean through on goal and while his initial effort went straight at Creer, the ball broke loose and the big defender tapped into the empty net to spark wild celebrations amongst the players and supporters.

City weren’t finished there though, and they came agonisingly close to grabbing the winner twice, but in truth, it would have been extremely harsh on an Alloa side who had dominated for most of the game.

City won a free kick 30 yards from goal and Stuart Callaghan’s curling free kick had Creer beaten but the ball slammed off the crossbar, and the ball was cleared to safety. Then just minutes later John Ward’s low shot was hacked off the line by an Alloa defender.

However, City were fortunate not to have conceded a goal at the other end as Craig Nelson made a fantastic save from a Javier Payo volley on the right. City also had Stevie McManus to thank for a fantastic last ditch challenge just as an Alloa player was about to pull the trigger inside the box.

Referee Colin Hardie blew for time up and the outcome has to be considered as a point gained as opposed to two points lost as very few City fans thought that Brechin would stage such a dramatic comeback after Alloa netted the second goal.

City looked down and out but to their credit they fought back and somehow salvaged a point from a game where they never really excelled.

Brechin have also leapfrogged Ayr United into third place as the honest men’s fantastic away form came to an abrupt end against Peterhead at Balmoor.

However, a much improved performance is required if City are to overcome Queen’s Park in the Scottish Cup replay at Hampden on Tuesday.

Other Results - Bell's League Division 2

Morton 1 Cowdenbeath 0

A nervy win for the league leaders.

Peterhead 3 Ayr United 1

Ayr's unbeaten run away from home comes to an abrupt end at Balmoor.

Raith Rovers 1 Stranraer 1

New Raith boss John McGlynn fails to get off to a winning start.


25 November 2006
Recreation Park
Attendance: 415
Graeme Brown 21
Robert Sloan 49
Paddy Connolly 60
John Ward 77

Brechin City

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


  • On: Steve McManus
    Off: Steven Ferguson ( 19 )
  • On: David White
    Off: Ross Archibald ( 46 )

Alloa Athletic

1 Allan Creer
2 Steven McKeown
3 Ross Clark
4 Stuart Malcolm
5 John Ovenstone
6 Brian McColligan
7 John Grant
8 Kieran MacAnespie
9 Graeme Brown
10 Javier Payo
11 Robert Sloan
12 Blair Hutton
14 Ross Hamilton
15 Alan Comrie
16 Michael Stuart
17 Fraser Forrest


  • On: Ross Hamilton
    Off: Graeme Brown ( 78 )
  • On: Alan Comrie
    Off: Robert Sloan ( 86 )