Brechin City Football Club

Glebe Park, Brechin, Angus DD9 6BJ

Tel : 01356 623344
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Brechin City 1 Stranraer 1

Match Report - By Steven Mew

City went into this afternoon’s match against lowly Stranraer looking to get back on track after a couple of disappointing defeats in recent weeks. Having been thumped 4-1 by Stirling a fortnight ago and blowing a two goal lead against Forfar at Station Park last week, City will have to battle hard if they are to remain in the play off places come the end of the season.

This match was the perfect opportunity for City to get back to track with a home game against a Stranraer side that were sitting in 9th position prior to the game.

However, the poor discipline in recent weeks meant that two key players were missing today due to suspension, in Darren Smith and first choice goalkeeper Craig Nelson. This added to the current injury list of John Ward, Ross Archibald and Grant Johnson.

As was expected, John Hillcoat came in to replace the suspended Craig Nelson between the sticks while a Trialist keeper was listed on the substitute’s bench.

Stranraer made a shock signing a couple of days ago as they brought in Paul McGrillen from Bellshill Juniors, where he was sacked as manager. McGrillen went straight into the side for the match as Stranraer looked to distance themselves from Forfar, and also to catch up with the teams above them.

Captaining the visitors was striker Michael Moore who was sent off in the last game between the sides at Glebe Park when he was involved in a bad tempered incident with Stuart Callaghan. The red card led to Moore being handed a hefty 9 match ban which left Stranraer struggling for the duration.

Stranraer have been doing well in recent weeks, picking up wins away to Stirling Albion and then at home to league leaders Morton. However, they slumped to a 3-0 defeat at home to Ayr last weekend.

This game had almost everything. Two goals, two red cards and two penalty misses. It was fantastic viewing for a neutral spectator but almost every Brechin fan will have been disappointed by the result and performance yesterday afternoon.

In front of a fairly sparse crowd at Glebe Park, the two sides failed to create any notable opportunities in the opening stages. City had the first real chance of the game when James McKinstry had to clear an Iain Russell shot off the line with keeper Scott Black in no-mans land.

Stranraer were next to threaten with Mark Crilly sending a couple of low free kicks just wide of the post. The visitors had the ball in the net shortly after when debutant Paul McGrillen received a pass from Michael Moore before finishing low into the net. However, the linesman had already raised his flag up for offside.

With 34 minutes on the clock the home side broke the deadlock. IAIN RUSSELL received a pass 25 yards from goal and the on-form striker took a couple of touches before unleashing a breathtaking shot which dipped into the top corner of net, giving Scott Black absolutely no chance.

Three minutes later things went from bad to worse for Stranraer when they were reduced to ten men. Just as Iain Russell was clean through he was brought down by a last gasp Shaun Dillon challenge and the referee had to option but to show the defender a second yellow card.

The referee blew for half time with City in a fairly comfortable position. The aim for the second half will have been to add at least another goal to wrap up the game but unfortunately it didn’t quite work out that way.

The 10 men of Stranraer battled hard but they were dealt a blow mid-way through the second half when City were awarded a penalty. Lee Sharp clearly hauled down Steven Hampshire in the box and the referee had no hesitations to point to the spot. City skipper Steven Ferguson volunteered to take the penalty but his tame penalty was a perfect height for Black, who palmed the ball away for a corner.

Shortly after the visitors were awarded a penalty of their own when David Murie made a good stop to keep out Paul McGrillen’s header. Unfortunately Murie is NOT the keeper and he was duly sent off for handball to add to City’s shocking record of 4 dismissals in 3 matches. Mark Crilly stepped up to take the spot kick but his firm penalty was well stopped by John Hillcoat.

Suddenly it was game on again with both sides having 10 men although City still had their noses in front and in truth they looked the most likely to add to their tally as Stranraer created very little in the way of goalscoring opportunities.

Iain Russell was running the show towards the end and his long range shot was well turned round the post by Black for a corner kick.

But with 6 minutes from time City were dealt the sucker punch when Stranraer grabbed an unlikely equaliser. Neil Janczyk made a good run down the left hand side before supplying a cross which was missed by Hillcoat, and the ball fell kindly for MICHAEL MOORE who rammed the ball into the net from a couple of yards out.

As time was running out City had a couple of glorious chances to take all three points. Iain Russell’s long range effort came off the post while David White somehow volleyed over the bar from just a couple of yards out after a corner.

Overall, it was a bitterly disappointing result for Brechin which saw their winless streak increase to 3 matches, two of which were against the bottom two.

Credit much go Stranraer who, like Forfar last week, turned the game around when they appeared to look dead and buried at half time. The point was a crucial one for the Blue’s, who now sit just 3 points behind Peterhead with a game in hand.

Despite the recent slump in form, City can only throw the play-off chances away as they still sit in 3rd place, a solitary point above Raith Rovers and a mammoth 11 points ahead of 5th placed Ayr United.

Michael O’Neill’s men must start picking up points soon to ensure a play-off position however, and they face a tough task next week as they take on Raith Rovers at Glebe Park next Saturday.

Other Results - Bell's League Division 2

Alloa Athletic 0 Morton 3

Templeman amongst the goals as Morton comfortably beat Alloa at Recreation Park.

Ayr United 3 Forfar Athletic 1

Forfar looking doomed at the bottom.

Peterhead 0 Cowdenbeath 2

Cowdenbeath get a victory after a recent slump.

Raith Rovers 0 Stirling Albion 1

Raith's recent form comes to a shuddering halt.


10 March 2007
Carnegie Fuels Stadium at Glebe Park
Attendance: 415
Iain Russell 34
Michael Moore 84

Brechin City

1 John Hillcoat
2 Richard Walker
3 David Murie
4 Scott Walker
5 David White
6 Steven Ferguson
7 Kevin Byers
8 Charlie King
9 Steve Hampshire
10 Iain Russell
11 Stuart Callaghan
12 A. Trialist
14 Paddy Connolly
15 Chris Geddes
16 Stuart Ferguson
17 Chris Hughes



1 Scott Black
2 James McKinstry
3 Shaun Dillon
4 Mark Crilly
5 Scott Wilson
6 Lee Sharp
7 Brian McPhee
8 Danny Mitchell
9 Michael Moore
10 Dougie Ramsay
11 Paul McGrillen
12 Allan Ferguson
14 Michael Mullen
15 Will Snowdon
16 Joe McAlpine
17 Neil Janczyk


  • On: Michael Mullen
    Off: Brian McPhee ( 60 )
  • On: Will Snowdon
    Off: Dougie Ramsay ( 73 )
  • On: Neil Janczyk
    Off: Mark Crilly ( 77 )