Brechin City Football Club

Glebe Park, Brechin, Angus DD9 6BJ

Tel : 01356 623344
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Airdrieonians 0 Brechin City 2

Match Report - By Grant Hood

The sound of Brechin City’s hardy band of travelling supporters chanting the theme tune to “The Great Escape” resounding around Airdrieonians’ Excelsior Stadium appeared encouragingly apt following the Glebe Park side’s thoroughly deserved 2-0 victory against the play-off chasing Diamonds.

Brechin City went into the game in the somewhat disheartening knowledge that the recent history did not make comfortable reading. The home side had not lost to City in the previous 9 clashes – indeed City had not enjoyed a 3-point haul against their Lanarkshire rivals since a dramatic Alan Trouten inspired 4-3 midweek win at The Glebe in December 2013.

Player-Manager Darren Dods made two predictable but enforced changes to the side which had beaten play-off chasing Ayr United the previous Saturday, with Gary Fusco replacing the injured Darren McCormack in a re-shaped back four, and striker Andy Jackson returning to the starting XI in place of Livingston-bound loanee Liam Watt who was ineligible to play against his parent club.

A surprise inclusion in the City squad was former Airdrieonians and Huddersfield Town striker Liam Coogans, who had signed for the Glebe Parkers only 24 hours prior, and was named on the bench, having trained with the squad for the first time on Thursday night.

The game started in what was probably as good weather conditions as one could ever find in Scotland in March. As a sign of what was to follow, the first goal threat from the home side came as early as the second minute as a first-time David Cox volley from 20 yards cleared City’s crossbar following a headed clearance from an Alan Lithgow long throw-in.

Other than a succession of Lithgow throw-ins which, from a defensive viewpoint, were supremely well marshalled by player-manager Darren Dods and his defensive partners, the most notable initial first half attempts on goal were ultimately inconsequential long range efforts from City’s Lewis Spence and James Dale as well as one from former City striker Jim Lister.

A notable exception to the routine action was a driving run from City’s Paul McLean who, having secured possession in his own half, evaded midfield challenges from The Diamonds to create a shooting chance inside the home penalty box. Despite his effort being comfortably gathered low by Neil Parry in the home goal, it was an altogether encouraging incursion into the offensive third by the City favourite.

Two minutes before the half-time, City took the lead. A high through-ball was contested by the perpetually-dangerous City frontman Robert Thomson. An ineffectual clearance fell for City’s ANDY JACKSON who, from a tight angle within the penalty box, struck a powerful low drive which went into the net off the far post past home custodian Neil Parry.

The second half started with the home side continuing to threaten via corner-kicks as well as the regular, powerful, low-trajectory throw-ins from Alan Lithgow. Despite this, City very nearly shocked The Diamonds with a second goal after Lewis Spence broke free on City’s right, only to see his low pull-back slide slightly behind striker Andy Jackson – which was a real shame as the City striker was well positioned to pull the trigger.

Midway through the second half, the match suffered a significant stoppage as the home side’s David Cox received worryingly lengthy on-field attention before being stretchered off the pitch. This was as a result of a non-contact injury which will doubtless fuel the debate about the merits of artificial surfaces – this at the same venue as previously cost City the services of central defender Ross Perry for the majority of the season.

The game’s most telling moment would arrive only a moment later. After a series of minor midfield skirmishes, livewire loanee LEWIS SPENCE gathered possession around 35 yards out and, spotting the home keeper marginally off his line, adroitly crafted an audacious lob. To the gleeful rapture of his City team-mates and supporters alike, the ball dipped under the crossbar and into the net. In a season largely sparse of goal highlights for the City faithful, one has a sense that something similarly sensational will require to be concocted to challenge for City’s goal-of-the-season award.

As City sought to see the game out with an increasingly subjugate defensive performance, the Diamonds’ goal threat was primarily restricted to set-pieces and the afore-mentioned long throw-ins.

Despite the lowly league placings, City’s defence – along with the impressive ‘Buzz’ in goal – dealt comfortably with any threat the increasingly desperate home strike-force could muster.

In the closing stages, the only direct goal-threat of note came from City substitute Euan Smith, whose sizzling 20-yard effort demanded a Parry parry – although the subsequent corner failed to trouble the home rearguard.

However, after 5 minutes of added-on time, Brechin City’s newly-adopted theme tune seemed to have real meaning, as an away victory – at a venue which hadn’t seen a City win since December 2011 – appeared to give the City faithful a genuine platform for renewed optimism in the fight for League One survival.

With only 7 League One matches remaining, the hope around the Club is that City fans can perhaps now legitimately share a re-invigourated belief that the impetus associated with 3 consecutive wins – and 3 consecutive clean sheets – suggests that “The Great Escape” is now genuinely possible.

Other Results - Ladbrokes League One

Albion Rovers 0 Stranraer 1

Longworth secures the points at Cliftonhill

Ayr United 0 Dunfermline Athletic 2

3 points for The Pars in Somerset Park shootout

Forfar Athletic 1 Cowdenbeath 1

Two early strikes - but points shared at Station Park

Stenhousemuir 1 Peterhead 4

Blue Toon score 4 - even without Rory McAllister


12 March 2016
Penny Cars Stadium
Attendance: 671
Andy Jackson 43
Lewis Spence 66

Brechin City

1 Graeme Smith
2 Paul McLean
3 Willie Dyer
4 Gary Fusco
5 Darren Dods
6 James Dale
7 Jonathan Tiffoney
8 Craig Molloy
9 Andy Jackson
10 Robert Thomson
11 Lewis Spence
12 Liam Coogans
14 Scott Shepherd
15 Euan Smith
16 Lukas Culjac
17 Jamie Montgomery
18 Craig Johnston
21 Patrick O'Neil


  • On: Liam Coogans
    Off: Andy Jackson ( 75 )
  • On: Euan Smith
    Off: Lewis Spence ( 79 )
  • On: Jamie Montgomery
    Off: Jonathan Tiffoney ( 85 )


1 Neil Parry
2 David Ferguson
3 Kieran MacDonald
4 Marc Fitzpatrick
5 Sean Crighton
6 Alan Lithgow
7 David Cox
8 Hugo Faria
9 Jim Lister
10 Jordan Thomson
11 Nicky Cadden
12 Chris O'Neill
14 Adam Brown
15 Scott Stewart
16 Bryan Prunty
17 Rohan Ferguson (GK)
18 Jacob Esposito
19 Jamie Bain


  • On: Jacob Esposito
    Off: Nicky Cadden ( 56 )
  • On: Bryan Prunty
    Off: Jordan Thomson ( 56 )
  • On: Jamie Bain
    Off: David Cox ( 65 )