Brechin City Football Club

Glebe Park, Brechin, Angus DD9 6BJ

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Brechin City 1 St Johnstone 4

Match Report - By Steven Mew

Brechin welcomed promotion hopefuls St Johnstone to Glebe Park this afternoon in which promised to be a fascinating game with both sides desperate for the three points for entirely different reasons. Brechin were still looking for that elusive first win and to get rid of the tag of being the only team in Britain without a win. Since the hammering at home to Ross County, City have performed admirably since then, losing out narrowly to St Mirren, gaining a point down at Stranraer despite dominating large spells of the game and losing out to Dundee because of a shocking refereeing decision which gave the Dens Park side all three points. St Johnstone, meanwhile, were looking for a win to get their promotion hopes back on track after a few disappointing results, including last Saturday’s dismal 0-0 draw at home to a battling Stranraer side. Owen Coyle had stated before the match that his team needed to start killing teams off and getting results if they are to be celebrating success come the end of the season. This was branded as a ‘must win’ game for the Perth side if they had any realistic ambitions to win the 1st Division title.

Thankfully, some of the injuries cleared up before this match. City had to list two amateur players as substitutes at Dens Park last Saturday because of the increasing list of injuries. ‘Pinky’ decided to play John Hillcoat ahead of Craig Nelson for this match after a decent performance against Dundee, with only a dodgy late penalty getting past him. Craig McEwan also got a rare start at right back after starting the last few matches on the substitute’s bench. St Johnstone player-manager Owen Coyle put himself onto the bench for this match.

Despite the atrocious conditions, both sides tried to play some flowing, passing football. City had the first real chance of the game after a few minutes when Kevin Byer’s drive from 20 yards was saved comfortably by Kevin Cuthbert. Shortly after Saints came close to the opening goal twice. Firstly Darren Sheridan made a good run down the flank but his inviting cross found no blue shirts in the box and the ball was cleared to safety. The impressive Paul Sheerin also came close, but his powerful drive was well saved by John Hillcoat after being set-up by Jason Scotland.

St Johnstone were beginning to put the City rearguard under some intense pressure. Jason Scotland had a shot for goal from 25 yards but John Hillcoat got down well to deny the Trinidad and Tobago internationalist. Paul Sheerin then made a good run down the wing, before cutting in and blazing his shot over the crossbar.

City refused to lie down though, and on the half hour mark Stuart Callaghan’s cross was met by Gerry Britton in the box, but his header was weak and went straight into the arms of Cuthbert in the St Johnstone goal. However, Saints really should have been ahead minutes later. Jason Scotland did all the hard work down the wing before cutting the ball back for Ryan Stevenson, who didn’t connect with the ball properly and the ball went wide when it looked easier to score.

On the stroke of half time, the visitors got a deserved opener. Saints were awarded a free kick out on the wing; the ball swung into the box was headed out by the Brechin defence, only as far as Jason Scotland who volleyed well into the corner to give Hillcoat no chance.

City came out in the second half determined to get an equaliser, but failed to create any clear cut chances. St Johnstone doubled their lead just seven minutes into the second half when Jason Scotland made an excellent reverse pass into the path of Ryan Stevenson, who took a touch before firing the ball crisply past the despairing John Hillcoat and into the far corner.

The task was becoming increasingly difficult and was made even worse three minutes later when Saints added a third goal. Jason Scotland cut the ball back for Paul Sheerin, who made no mistake, burying the ball into the net from 15 yards.

Just before City re-started the match, Ian Campbell introduced Darren Smith for Craig McEwan, and it certainly gave City that bit of width they needed and they started stretching the St Johnstone defence.

Just before the hour mark City pulled a goal back. Stuart Callaghan’s corner was nodded goalwards by Gerry Britton with keeper Kevin Cuthbert beaten, and despite Simon Mensing’s efforts to clear off to safety, the ball was already adjudged to have crossed the line. This goal gave City the boost they needed, and starting putting the visitors under a bit of pressure with Charlie King coming close, but he was denied by Kevin Cuthbert at his near post.

However, Saints made the points safe with a fourth goal 13 minutes from time. Jason Scotland picked the ball up just outside the box, and with nothing going for him he struck a breathtaking shot which flew past Hillcoat and into the top corner of the net.

Not the best performance from Brechin, who performed well for some periods of the match but were punished for some sloppy defending by some top class finishing by Saints. Thankfully, Queen of the South were hammered 4-0 away to Airdrie Utd but sadly Stranraer picked up a point at home to Dundee.

Next up for City is against Hamilton at Glebe Park. City performed admirably against the Lanarkshire side on the opening day of the season, only to be beaten by a late, late goal by Lee Hardy. However, City didn’t perform as well at New Douglas Park, where they were swept aside by a rampant Accies in a 3-0 defeat.

Other Results - Bell's League Division 1

Airdrie United 4 Queen of the South 0

Fellow strugglers QoS hammered at New Broomfield.

Hamilton Academical 1 Clyde 1

Honours even between Accies and the Bully Wee.

Ross County 0 St Mirren 4

St Mirren thump fellow promotion hopefuls Ross County away from home.

Stranraer 0 Dundee 0

Dundee continue to struggle with a dissapointing point away to Stranraer.


3 December 2005
Carnegie Fuels Stadium at Glebe Park
Attendance: 811
Gerry Britton 58
Jason Scotland 43
Ryan Stevenson 53
Paul Sheerin 56
Jason Scotland 77

Brechin City

1 John Hillcoat
2 Craig Winter
3 Gary Bollan
4 David White
5 Scott Walker
6 Stuart Callaghan
7 Charlie King
8 Kevin Byers
9 Gerry Britton
10 Ally Mitchell
11 Craig McEwan
12 Paul Ritchie
14 Darren Smith
15 Grant Johnson
16 Steve Hamilton
17 Craig Nelson


  • On: Darren Smith
    Off: Craig McEwan ( 56 )
  • On: Grant Johnson
    Off: Craig Winter ( 67 )
  • On: Paul Ritchie
    Off: Ally Mitchell ( 74 )

St Johnstone

1 Kevin Cuthbert
2 Kevin Rutkiewicz
3 William Dyer
4 Kevin James
5 Simon Mensing
6 Ryan Stevenson
7 John Henry
8 Darren Sheridan
9 Paul Sheerin
10 Steven Milne
11 Jason Scotland
12 Ryan McCann
14 Owen Coyle
15 Neil Janczyk
16 Steven Anderson
17 Mark Paston


  • On: Ryan McCann
    Off: John Henry ( 63 )
  • On: Neil Janczyk
    Off: Paul Sheerin ( 84 )