Match Report - By Nathaniel Mumford
Brechin City 0-3 Airdrieonians
City's run of good form came to an abrupt end as Airdrieonians cruised to an comfortable win in the Glebe sunshine today.
Two fine away wins had preceded this fixture, and although a long midweek trip to Stranraer might have sapped the City legs, in truth there only ever looked like being one outcome to this one.
City made just one change from Tuesday's success, with Sam Jamieson coming in for Ross Kavanagh. The Diamonds back line, meanwhile, had a familiar look to it with both Sean Crighton and Chris O'Neil having turned out for City in the recent past.
Airdrie had much the better of the opening skirmishes, and this was to set the tone for the match. The lively McIntosh dragged two speculative shots wide of Paddy O'Neil's goal within the first ten minutes, while the impressive Wilkie played in Duffy who did the same shortly after. On 13 minutes Duffy blazed over at the Cemetery end from a free kick with City's midfield struggling to impose themselves on the game.
On 19 minutes Airdrie's Stewart fired over the bar from just inside the area as the pressure built, but Brechin then began to play themselves into the game. Scobbie broke down the left and fired in a threatening cross that just eluded onrushing City attackers, and Thomson then repeated the trick from the right flank, fizzing a cross across the area to no avail.
However on 30 minutes Airdrie made the breakthrough that their play certainly deserved. KYLE WILKIE didn't look to be a threat when he received the ball direct from a throw outside the City area, but his turn and ballooning shot may have deceived Paddy O'Neil in the flight as it looped over him and beneath the bar into the far corner.
Airdrie twice had chances to double their lead before they eventually did so. Another free kick from Wilkie found Crighton at the back post but his header was easily gathered by O'Neil, before Paddy pulled off a much better save. With City battling to gain territory, a towering ball dropping towards the City area on an Airdrie counter wasn't dealt with, leaving McIntosh one on one, but O'Neil deflected the ball down and over the bar to safety.
The relative safety of half time and the chance to regroup beckoned, but City conceded a second at the worst possible time. Wilkie was again involved, putting in a corner that Sean Crighton headed goalwards allowing SCOTT STEWART to divert past Paddy O'Neil and into the net.
City had to improve in the second half, and the early action saw brief improvement as a Jackson knock down saw a Jamieson snapshot comfortably held by Hutton in the Airdrie goal. But barely two minutes later the game was over as a meaningful contest. A long throw from the hedge side wasn't dealt with by the City defence, and the ball fell to LEIGHTON McINTOSH whose half volley took a slight deflection that sent it looping over O'Neil's despairing dive.
This prompted changes with only 6 minutes gone in the second half: Mikey Miller replacing Scott Robertson and Ross Kavanagh for the hard-working Jamieson. But Airdrie continued to threaten: on 73 minutes Campbell's left foot shot from 20 yards had to be smartly turned round his left hand post by O'Neil.
The two City substitutes were now reinforced by the lively Kalvin Orsi, coming on for Thomson, and Brechin only now began to exert some attacking pressure. Sean Burns flashed a speculative shot wide before a sequence of three corners were fended off by Airdrie. Burns blasted wide again before arguably City's best chance came with the last meaningful play of the match. Tam Scobbie's free-kick was well placed but Airdrie's Hutton had read it well and readily pulled it down from the top left corner.
City remain in 8th after Stranraer were also defeated today, but manager and players will be looking to write this one off as a bad day at the office and will be hoping for a much improved performance as we look to take points off local rivals Montrose for the first time this season, this coming Tuesday at the Glebe.