Brechin City Football Club

Glebe Park, Brechin, Angus DD9 6BJ

Tel : 01356 623344
Email :

Dunfermline Athletic 3 Brechin City 1

Match Report - By Grant Hood


Brechin City went toe-to-toe against League One leaders Dunfermline Athletic in a hugely credible attempt to derail The Pars’ title party. City lost out only to an outstanding hat-trick by home striker Faissal El Bakhtaoui, a fitting manner in which to round off a Championship winning display from the Fife side.

Despite The Glebe Park side’s 4-game winning run coming to an end, the travelling City fans witnessed a mightily impressive attacking display from their favourites. Despite the loss of 2 first half goals, Darren Dods’ men fought back, producing a brand of football which drew home plaudits and helped preserve a genuine cause for optimism ahead of the crucial series of upcoming matches.

New City loanee Jamie Robson, signed from Dundee United, was handed a starting berth replacing midfielder Lewis Spence who was ineligible to play against his parent club.

The game started with a large and vociferous home crowd anticipating that their favourites would sweep City aside and, at least initially, they weren’t to be disappointed as once again The Pars started the game impressively.

City’s game-plan was disrupted only 5 minutes in as player boss Darren Dods picked up an injury and signalled to the bench he would have to depart the field. It was an unwelcome development in the centre-half area given the unavailability of long term injury victim Ross Perry, the recovering Darren McCormack and the absent Aberdeen loanee Lukas Culjak – who had pulled out of the squad on the day through sickness. Euan Smith came off the bench to make up a wholly unconventional City back four, leaving Gary Fusco to partner Paul McLean in central defence.

The imperious Pars scented blood as a result of this make-shift defence and took the lead only 2 minutes later.

A low cross from Ryan Wallace on the City left saw FAISSAL EL BAKHTAOUI bundle the ball home from inside the 6-yard box despite pressure from Jamie Robson and City keeper Smith.

Only 4 minutes later, and with the home side clearly in the ascendancy, David Hopkirk drove at the City defence forcing a low save from the City keeper, and seconds later he headed over the bar from a dangerous cross ball.

The home onslaught continued, with City unable to find any rhythm or meaningful possession, and a second home goal arrived after 24 minutes. A cross from The Pars’ wide left was found the stretching FAISSAL EL BAKHTAOUI whose volley from inside the penalty box diverted the ball past Graeme Smith and into the net, much to the delight of the striker himself - further endearing him to the home support.

Although City’s afternoon may have looked ominous at that point, the Glebe Park side stunned the home crowd almost immediately. Liam Watt gathered possession in central midfield allowing him to feed a pass through to ROBERT THOMSON, and this season’s club top scorer spun and fired a low shot past Sean Murdoch in the home goal from a central position just inside the penalty box.

In a complete contrast to what had gone before, it was City who carried the goal threat for the remainder of the half. Striker Andy Jackson saw 2 shots well saved from the home keeper, before a darting run and low cross – replicated moments later by Jamie Robson – caused considerable consternation in the home defence. A Liam Watt effort from just outside the box also forced a save from the home goalkeeper.

Early in the second half, City survived a major scare as a cross from The Pars’ right saw Ryan Wallace thunder a shot off the underside of the crossbar, and ‘Buzz’ save well from El Bakhtaoui as he instantly thumped the rebound goalwards.

Major controversy then ensued as, following an almighty scramble in the home penalty box, Andy Jackson thumped the ball into the net – only for referee Steven Kirkland to disallow the goal for an infringement within the melee - a debatable decision which post-match video highlights were unable to provide clarity upon. Shortly afterwards, City full-back Willie Dyer hammered a free-kick from 22 yards and it took the merest of deflections to only just clear the crossbar.

With news filtering around the stadium that Cowdenbeath were continuing to lead Peterhead – a result which suited The Pars but certainly not Brechin City – the tension amongst the home fans was almost palpable.

Only 5 minutes remained when, and not for the first time, Liam Watt gathered possession in his own half and drove forward. With neat interplay he engineered a shooting chance – only to see his 20-yard effort go narrowly wide, with the home custodian scrambling across towards his post.

The game was into added-on time when Dunfermline Athletic clinched the points – and the Championship – with another super finish. A foraging run down The Par’s right, resulted in a Paul Joseph Crossan cut-back from the goal-line and, in a finish which mirrored but perhaps even outshone his earlier effort, FAISSAL EL BAKHTAOUI superbly executed another right-footed mid-air volley finish to send the home fans into joyous raptures.

Darren Dods’ men left the field fully entitled to keep their heads held high, with the homesters subsequently acknowledging that they were delighted to secure the victory in one of the few occasions this season that a visiting team at East End Park had opened up offensively and actively taken the game to the hosts.

So, whilst the broader media rightly focuses on Dunfermline Athletic’s achievement, City’s over-riding objective remains unaltered as a result. Despite dropping back to the league table’s bottom rung, crucially confidence and belief remain fully intact – with attention now turning to the season-defining 5-game run-in.

Other Results - Ladbrokes League One

Airdrieonians 1 Albion Rovers 1

Diamonds and Wee Rovers remain locked together in Play-Off chase

Ayr United 2 Stranraer 1

'Trouts' on the scoresheet as Ayr beat The Blues

Peterhead 0 Cowdenbeath 1

Blue Brazil off the bottom in shock result at Balmoor

Stenhousemuir 2 Forfar Athletic 1

Late clincher for Warriors in crunch clash with The Loons


26 March 2016
East End Park
Attendance: 4042
Faissal El Bakhtaoui 7
Faissal El Bakhtaoui 24
Faissal El Bakhtaoui 90
Robert Thomson 25

Brechin City

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


  • On: Euan Smith
    Off: Darren Dods ( 5 )
  • On: Liam Coogans
    Off: Craig Molloy ( 77 )

Dunfermline Athletic

1 Sean Murdoch
2 Craig Reid
3 Jason Talbot
4 Brad McKay
5 Ben Richards-Everton
6 Andy Geggan
7 Michael Paton
8 Josh Falkingham
9 Ryan Wallace
10 Faissal El Bakhtaoui
11 David Hopkirk
12 Paul Joseph Crossan
14 Lewis Martin
15 Shaun Rooney
16 Michael Moffat
17 Rhys McCabe
18 Shaun Byrne
20 David Hutton (GK)


  • On: Michael Moffat
    Off: David Hopkirk ( 40 )
  • On: Paul Joseph Crossan
    Off: Ryan Wallace ( 89 )