Brechin City Football Club

Glebe Park, Brechin, Angus DD9 6BJ

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Queen's Park 1 Brechin City 2

Match Report - By Steven Mew

City supporters may not have been particularly happy walking out of Glebe Park last Saturday when Brechin were held at home by 3rd division outfit Queen’s Park, but the small band of diehard travelling supporters who made the trip down to Hampden last night for the replay went home ecstatic as City grabbed two quick-fire goals early in the second half to advance to the next round of the Scottish Cup.

The spiders certainly fancied their chances of winning against their higher league opposition as they undoubtedly deserved to win the original tie against a lacklustre Brechin side at Glebe Park, however, a Stuart Callaghan penalty forced the game into a replay.

City gaffer Michael O’Neill was forced to make some changes to the squad due to injuries. Steven Ferguson, who went off with a back injury in Saturday’s draw at Alloa, was not fit to play but should be back for the league match against Ayr. Also unavailable were Stuart Ferguson, Grant Johnson, Ross Archibald and Iain Russell, who failed a fitness test prior to the match. In came 18 year old Matthew Flynn, making his 2nd appearance for City since signing earlier this month.

Former City goalkeeper Mark Cairns was unavailable for the home side as he was away on business so David Crawford played between the sticks. Richard Sinclair failed a late fitness test therefore Damiano Agostini made a rare start for the Hampden Park side. The goal-scorer of the spider’s goal in the original tie, Mark Ferry, was rated doubtful ahead of the match but was deemed fit enough to play.

The visitors started the game brightly at a rather wet Hampden Park and it was youngster Matt Flynn who was first to threaten the home side when he controlled the ball well with his head and his surging run down the left flank was halted by a well timed Steve Reilly tackle. The resulting corner led to nothing, as did the rest of the corners City won early on, although David Crawford had to be quick off his line to gather Steven Hampshire’s knock-down inside the area.

However, the bright start made by Brechin quickly turned into panic and disorganisation at the heart of the City defence. Queens front man David Weatherston, who boasts blistering pace, constantly got in behind Scott Walker but this time his dangerous cut-back was cleared away by the City defence.

At the other end Brechin squandered their best chance of the half when Darren Smith turned inside his defender on the left hand side before supplying a perfect cross for Richard Walker who was lingering at the back post, but unfortunately he blazed his volley well over the bar when he really should have done better.

Two minutes later Brechin found themselves behind as the home side broke the deadlock. Alan Trouten’s cross from the right was only cleared as far as Paul Ronald on the edge of the box and he struck a delightful volley which dipped over Nelson and into the far corner of the net.

This came as a real blow for Brechin who had much of the possession up to this point, but to be perfectly fair they hadn’t really threatened the Queens goal.

The home side nearly doubled their advantage just five minutes later, due to some absolutely woeful defending by City. Robert Dunn somehow waltzed past three City defenders and just as he homed in on goal, Craig Nelson rushed out to save at the feet of the attacker.

Queens were desperate to put themselves in a more commanding position before the break and Paul Ronald had an effort which flew over the bar while Mark Ferry’s shot was well held by Nelson, despite taking a dangerous bounce.

Referee John McKendrick blew for half time and Queens were worthy of their lead and in all honesty, it could have been more. City needed to sort themselves out in time for the second half.

City manager Michael O’Neill threatened to make a change just before the break but he decided to leave it until half time. He made a gamble in taking off Scott Walker, who was having a poor game by his own standards, and replacing him with tricky winger Charlie King.

The substitution almost immediately paid dividends as City snatched an unlikely equaliser seven minutes into the second half. Paddy Connolly received the ball on the left hand side and he crossed the ball into the box for Steven Hampshire, who headed past Crawford at the near post.

The Brechin supporters barely had a chance to sit back down in their seats by the time City put themselves ahead with an almost identical goal. Darren Smith this time received the ball on the left and his cross was met by Paddy Connolly, who powered a header past Crawford after ghosting in at the near post.

Now Brechin were in control and they sprayed the ball about well on the excellent surface of Hampden. The front men were beginning to see a lot more of the ball and Darren Smith, as ever, was inspirational in midfield.

City nearly made it three after 71 minutes when again a cross from the left hand side was headed goal-wards by Hampshire but Crawford made an excellent save to deny ‘Hammy’ his second goal of the night.

There was a scare for Brechin though when Weatherston headed narrowly past the post and Mark Ferry’s deflected shot was comfortably saved by Nelson as the home side went all out for an equaliser.

There was another sigh of relief from the Brechin fans with four minutes left when Trouten beat his man on the right hand side and just as he cut the ball back, Stuart Callaghan made a great saving challenge to deny Steven Canning who was just about to pull the trigger.

The game boiled over in the closing minutes when Matt Flynn came in with what looked to be a two footed lunge on Paul Paton but fortunately for City Flynn escaped with just a booking.

There was one last chance for the home side deep into injury time when Paul Paton crossed in for Stuart Kettlewell, but his header flashed wide of the post.

After what seemed to be endless stoppage time, referee John McKeldrick blew for the full time whistle which was greeted with cheers from the small band of travelling supporters, and boo’s from the home fans in disgust of the referee's performance.

This was a game similar to the original tie, with City playing poorly in the first half and Queen’s taking the lead, but Brechin drastically improved in the second half and netted two goals to win the match.

City will now play Preston Athletic at home in the next round of the cup who were conquerors of Stenhousemuir in the previous round. While Brechin supporters will be fully expecting a win, Preston cannot be taken lightly and City must ensure that they reach the 3rd round of the cup, when all of the ‘big boys’ come into play.

Speaking after the game, City gaffer Michael O’Neill said: “In the first half, Queens looked to hit us on the break and I’m very disappointed that the back three failed to cope with that at times. We also didn’t get the ball quick enough to the front men.

“We started the game better than we have in recent matches and their goal was a bit of a sucker punch, although it was a cracking goal by Paul Ronald. Once you give a team like Queens the lead they’ll sit in and they have good midfield players that can attack on the break.

“In the second half our front players saw a lot more of the ball and we scored two quick goals.”

Speaking on Darren Smith, who was influential in the second half, O’Neill added: “Darren has been superb for us this season and he’s as good as any other midfielder in the league. We knew if we could get Darren in the game then it would cause them problems.”

City will now host Preston Athletic in the next round, and Michael said: “It’s an excellent draw, but we know we have to produce a performance like in the second half tonight. Preston beat Stenhousemuir in the last round so the tie is not a formality. It will be a day out for them.”

Meanwhile, Queen’s manager Billy Stark felt his side deserved more. He said: “The first half performance was more than you could expect from a Third Division side. We had a number of good chances to kill them off. We had a mad 10 minutes at the start of the second half. It's disappointing we didn’t defend crosses for the two goals.

“It's a sore one, but it was the only game of the night and we wanted to show everyone what we could do. We had a couple of chances we snatched at. We know we've let them out of jail by slipping behind.”


28 November 2006
Hampden Park
Attendance: 535
Paul Ronald 23
Steve Hampshire 52
Paddy Connolly 53

Brechin City

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


  • On: Charlie King
    Off: Scott Walker ( 46 )
  • On: Chris Geddes
    Off: Paddy Connolly ( 82 )

Queen's Park

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


  • On: Richard Bowers
    Off: Paul Ronald ( 75 )
  • On: Steven Canning
    Off: Robert Dunn ( 82 )