Brechin City Football Club

Glebe Park, Brechin, Angus DD9 6BJ

Tel : 01356 623344
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Brechin City 2 Morton 3

Match Report - By Steven Mew

Brechin and Morton have served up some very entertaining encounters over the years and yesterday’s game was certainly no exception. The two sides had already played each other twice earlier in the season, in the CIS Cup and the league. City emerged victorious in the CIS Cup at Glebe Park but the ‘Ton came out on top at Cappielow in the league.

Morton have stuttered in recent weeks but they have been top for the majority of the season which is to be expected as they have the only full time set-up in the division. The ‘Ton looked to be sailing to the Championship not so long ago but a couple of poor results, mixed with Stirling keeping up their great form, has reduced the gap at the top to just a solitary point.

If City still harboured any hopes of challenging for the league, then this was a game they had to get something from. Morton meanwhile, desperately needed a win to stay at the top of the league and brush off the challenge of Stirling.

John Ward, who has been ever present in the heart of the Brechin defence this season, was unavailable due to injury and he was replaced in the team by Scott Walker. Darren Smith was fit again after picking up a knock in the win over Ayr at Somerset and he came in for Paddy Connolly who had to settle for a place on the bench.

The game, which coincided with goalkeeper John Hillcoat’s 36th birthday, started off rather slowly with both sides struggling to adjust to the soft pitch which cut up badly as the game went on.

The first real chance of the match resulted in a goal and unfortunately it was for the visitors. Morton won a free kick out on the left hand side and while Stevenson’s free kick into the box was headed away, it only went as far as Jim McAlistair who let fly with a rasping shot which sailed into the top corner from 25 yards.

Somehow Morton managed to double their advantage with their second effort of the match, but this time it was down to a couple of mistakes. David White lobbed an awkward pass-back to Craig Nelson and the keeper’s clearance was sclaffed into the path of Chris Templeman, who deftly lifted the ball over Nelson and into the far corner from 20 yards. This was the second time big ‘Sanny’ has netted against his former club at Glebe Park, having scored in a Bell’s Cup tie last season.

While Morton had much of the possession, the scoreline flattered the Greenock side somewhat and things got even worse for City just four minutes later as they shipped a third goal with only 21 minutes played. A free kick was launched into the Brechin danger area and the ball fell for Peter Weatherson in front of goal, and he had plenty of time to steer the ball into the corner to give the ‘Ton an unassailable lead.

The game looked as good as over at this point. City’s long unbeaten run looked like it was going to end with a real bang.

Typically though, like many times this season, City never gave up and they pulled a goal back less than two minutes later. Darren Smith made a surging run forward and he poked the ball to Iain Russell out on the left, and the on form striker curled the ball beautifully into the far top corner to reduce the deficit.

Four efforts, four goals…no wonder both sets of supporters got excited when the ball was in the opposition box and game was turning into a real cracker. Both sides continued to attack before the break but neither could add to their tally.

In the second half, City attacked furiously as Morton seemed intent on holding onto their two goal lead. Little chances were created though as the final ball was poor.

Morton made a change on the hour mark with the fairly ineffective Stevenson being replaced by former Stranraer winger Kevin Finlayson.

Chris Millar was then booked and David White was booked for a badly timed challenge as time was beginning to run out for City.

Brechin’s hopes of comeback were dented as Davie White picked up a second booking just five minutes later when a Morton attacker tumbled over under his challenge. Although it was a foul, a yellow card was extremely harsh and City now had a mountain to climb if they were to get back into the match.

City manager Michael O’Neill tried to turn things round by taking off Steven Hampshire and replacing him with experienced striker Paddy Connolly.

The home side, despite a man down, kept plucking away at the Morton defence and they pulled another goal back 15 minutes from time.

City won a free kick out on the right and Iain Russell’s looping header went over Ton new boy Paul Mathers and into the net from Stuart Callaghan’s precise cross.

Ton boss Jim McInally threw on Derek Lilley for youngster Paul McGowan as the visitors tried to hang onto their fragile lead.

The Morton fans went quiet all of a sudden and the Brechin supporters urged the team on as they looked for an unlikely equaliser.

Left back Stuart Ferguson, who has been out injured for quite a while, came on after 83 minutes for youngster Matt Flynn who put in a good shift.

City came agonisingly close to the equaliser when Mathers fumbled a routine cross and the ball fell for Brechin attackers in front of goal but Ton defenders threw themselves in front of goal to deny, much to the astonishment of substitute John Hillcoat who was almost celebrating on the pitch.

As time ticked away, former City favourite Chris Templeman was given a standing ovation by the visiting supporters when he was replaced by Alex Walker with just a few minutes to go.

City lumped balls into the opposition box but the Morton defence soaked up all the pressure and held on for a vital 3 points, with Stirling also winning against Cowdenbeath at Forthbank.

Some shambolic defending by City in the opening 25 minutes cost them the game but you have to give credit to the players in the way they never gave up and they pushed the full timers all the way.

Standouts for Brechin were man of the match Iain Russell with his two goals and Darren Smith, who glided past players effortlessly at times and generally causing plenty of problems.

City will now travel up to Balmoor to take on Peterhead next Saturday, 23rd December. The game was originally due to be played on Boxing Day but the game was moved back to Saturday. While it is extremely close to Christmas, it would be good to see a decent travelling support, no doubt with plenty of festive cheer.

Other Results - Bell's League Division 2

Forfar Athletic 2 Peterhead 3

Forfar are edged out by the Blue Toon at Station Park.

Raith Rovers 1 Ayr United 0

A late goal from Mark Campbell gives Raith all three points.

Stirling Albion 1 Cowdenbeath 0

A goal by Colin Cramb keeps Stirling on the tails of Morton.

Stranraer 2 Alloa Athletic 2

An entertaining draw at Stair Park between two mid-table teams.


16 December 2006
Carnegie Fuels Stadium at Glebe Park
Attendance: 606
Iain Russell 23
Iain Russell 76
Jim McAlistair 11
Chris Templeman 17
Peter Weatherson 21

Brechin City

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


  • On: Paddy Connolly
    Off: Steve Hampshire ( 70 )
  • On: Stuart Ferguson
    Off: Matt Flynn ( 83 )


1 Paul Mathers
2 Peter Weatherson
3 David McGregor
4 Ryan Harding
5 Stewart Greacen
6 Dean Keenan
7 Chris Millar
8 Jamie Stevenson
9 Chris Templeman
10 Paul McGowan
11 Jim McAlistair
12 David McGurn
14 Kevin Finlayson
15 Derek Lilley
16 Alex Walker
17 Ryan Russell


  • On: Kevin Finlayson
    Off: Jamie Stevenson ( 61 )
  • On: Derek Lilley
    Off: Paul McGowan ( 77 )
  • On: Alex Walker
    Off: Chris Templeman ( 87 )