Brechin City Football Club

Glebe Park, Brechin, Angus DD9 6BJ

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Brechin City 1 Stirling Albion 4

Match Report - By Steven Mew

City took on Stirling yesterday afternoon knowing a win would take them above the Bino’s and into second place in the table. A defeat however, would give Stirling a fairly comfortable lead over City and it would be incredibly difficult to peg back those points between now and the end of the season. Some may think there would be no difference between finishing 2nd or 3rd, but finishing second would give the advantage of having the second leg in the play-off’s at home, which is certainly favourable.

With Stirling emerging victorious in the two games between the sides this season, City were looking to gain revenge with a win at Glebe Park against Allan Moore’s men.

With City skipper Steven Ferguson suspended and David White serving the second game of his two match ban, adding to current crocks Grant Johnson and John Ward, Michael O’Neill once again had to reshuffle his squad ahead of the game. Kevin Byers, who recovered from a rib injury sustained in the win at Cappielow a fortnight ago, came in for the suspended Ferguson in midfield.

With City on top form, recording three wins on the trot without conceding a goal, compared with Stirling’s recent blip, saw the home side placed as many people’s favourites to record all three points at Glebe Park.

Stirling made four changes from the side that was defeated by Stranraer at Forthbank last weekend with Paul Nugent, Chris Aitken, Stewart Devine and Dougie Wilson coming in for Paul Hay, John Fraser, Marek Tomana and Iain Cashmore respectively. The Bino’s were once again without top scorer Colin Cramb who hasn’t quite recovered from an injury.

City fans had to endure an early scare when Albion were turned down a penalty in the first couple of minutes. David O’Brien raced away from Scott Walker and went down under the defender’s challenge inside the box, but the referee waved away the claims much to the relief of the City fans.

The first of many yellow cards went to on loan Livi man Robert Snodgrass after he clashed with Stuart Callaghan in front of the referee’s nose.

The visitors deservedly broke the deadlock with quarter of an hour played. David O’Brien made a good run down the left before cutting in and playing the ball back for STEVEN BELL who rifled the ball into the bottom corner, giving Nelson absolutely no chance. This was Bell’s third goal against City this season, having scored in every game between the two sides this term, an interesting statistic to say the least considering he is a midfielder.

At the other end City had their first chance of the game when Iain Russell was fouled just outside the box but Stuart Callaghan’s effort was saved comfortably by Myles Hogarth in the Stirling goal.

On the half hour mark Darren Smith was given his marching orders in what was definitely the turning point of the game. City lost possession deep in the Stirling half and as David O’Brien surged up field, he was brought down by Smith from behind. The foul looked like a clear booking but much to the amazement of the City players, the referee hauled out a red card. As Smith trudged off the field, Iain Russell was given a booking for his protests.

With one of City’s most creative talents off the pitch, the task of coming from behind was made more difficult and it got even worse when the Bino’s added a second. Craig Nelson could only parry Stewart Devine’s powerful effort into the path of ROBERT SNODGRASS, who lashed the ball high into the net to give the Albion an unassailable lead.

The visitors came close to putting the game beyond doubt shortly before half time but Craig Nelson pulled off a fantastic save to deny David O’Brien.

Michael O’Neill made tactical changes at half time and 17 year old defender Chris Hughes came on for the disappointing Kevin Byers as City looked to get themselves back into the match.

City were undoubtedly the better side early on in the second half and they came agonisingly close to pulling as goal back when Stuart Callaghan took the ball past the keeper but his shot hit the post in front of the open goal. The ball came back for Iain Russell but with the goal gaping, he lashed his effort well over the bar.

Brechin did manage to pull a goal back on the hour mark when a corner was only half cleared. The ball was lobbed back into the box for Scott Walker who knocked the ball into the danger area for top scorer IAIN RUSSELL to steer the ball home and give City hope.

City had their tails up but Stirling were next to threaten when a free kick from Chris Aitken just flew past the top corner.

Controversy followed when the stand side linesman disappeared up the tunnel for around five minutes. The break will have no doubt benefited the visitors who had time to get themselves organised after some recent pressure. Eventually the linesman came back out adjusting his shorts, and we can only guess he desperately needed the toilet.

City kept the pressure on and they thought they had equalised minutes later when a shot from outside the box was turned in by Chris Hughes but the celebrations were short lived as the linesman put his flag up for offside.

After 84 minutes Michael O’Neill brought off David Murie for Steven Hampshire to bolster his attacking options. Murie was quite rightly given a rapturous applause for his battling performance.

Having battled heroically for much of the second half, City’s resolve was finally broken three minutes from time when the Bino’s were awarded a penalty. There can be no complaints as Dougie Wilson was clearly brought down by Chris Hughes and with the youngster being the last man; he was given his marching orders. CHRIS AITKEN stepped up to take the spot kick and confidently converted his penalty low into the left hand corner with Nelson close to getting a hand to it.

City’s misery was complete when Stirling added a 4th goal in stoppage time. SEAN ROYCROFT received the ball 25 yards from goal and his powerful shot dipped viciously over Nelson and into the net to give Stirling a somewhat flattering win.

Overall, Stirling certainly deserved their win but you can’t deny the sending off of Smith definitely had an effect on the outcome. The Bino’s went about their job professionally but you have to give credit to the City players who battled extremely hard despite being down to 10 men for the vast majority of the game.

City now make the short journey to Forfar next weekend and with the Loons looking doomed at the bottom of the table, Brechin will have high hopes of getting all three points at Station Park. Michael O’Neill will be without both Darren Smith and Chris Hughes due to suspension but skipper Steven Ferguson and David White will both return to the side after serving their bans.

City remain in 3rd place 5 points behind Stirling who also have a game in hand so gaining 2nd place will certainly be an uphill task. Raith Rovers just lie three points behind City but only a substantial collapse will see City fall out of the play-off places as they sit 12 points above 5th placed Alloa who lost at the weekend at home to Peterhead.

Other Results - Bell's League Division 2

Alloa Athletic 2 Peterhead 4

The Blue Toon hammer sorry Alloa at Recreation Park.

Ayr United 0 Cowdenbeath 2

Ayr slump to yet another home defeat.

Raith Rovers 2 Forfar Athletic 1

Raith keep the pressure on City with a win over Forfar.

Stranraer 2 Morton 1

Stranraer shock the league leaders at Stair Park.


24 February 2007
Carnegie Fuels Stadium at Glebe Park
Attendance: 588
Iain Russell 61
Steven Bell 15
Robert Snodgrass 35
Chris Aitken 87 (Pen)
Sean Roycroft 90

Brechin City

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


  • On: Chris Hughes
    Off: Kevin Byers ( 46 )
  • On: Steve Hampshire
    Off: David Murie ( 84 )

Stirling Albion

1 Myles Hogarth
2 Paul Nugent
3 Ross Forsyth
4 Mark McNally
5 Sean Roycroft
6 Chris Aitken
7 Steven Bell
8 Stewart Devine
9 Robert Snodgrass
10 Dougie Wilson
11 David O'Brien
12 Paul Hay
14 Nathan Taggart
15 Ian Cashmore
16 Marek Tomana
17 Scott Christie


  • On: Ian Cashmore
    Off: Robert Snodgrass ( 82 )
  • On: Nathan Taggart
    Off: Dougie Wilson ( 88 )
  • On: Paul Hay
    Off: Sean Roycroft ( 90 )