Match Report - By Brechin City Media Team
City couldn’t give Mark Wilson a winning start to his tenure, as an accomplished Cove Rangers took three points home from the Glebe after an action-packed match that saw all six goals scored in the first 35 minutes.
The new manager made three changes from the side narrowly beaten by Cowdenbeath before the international break. Lewis McMinn came in for Paddy O’Neil in goal, Paul McManus returned as part of a two man attack with Emile Ngoy, and Matthew Knox also started with Kieran Inglis dropping to the bench.
The sense of anticipation was keen and City gave Wilson what seemed to be the dream start. After only three minutes City forced a corner down the left and from Matthew Knox’s corner, Luke Watt got the run on his marker and headed powerfully home
Cove, though, were already showing attacking intent and within two minutes, Lewis McMinn had to get down smartly to his right to turn a goalbound snapshot from Megginson around the post.
Rangers were back on terms on 10 minutes when Jamie Masson, who spent two spells on loan from Aberdeen at the Glebe earlier in his career, cut inside from the left and shot powerfully from distance.
Ten minutes later, a deep cross from the Cove left was headed down by Yule and McMinn did well to tip the bouncing ball onto the woodwork before pushing the follow-up away for a corner, but the second goal was merely delayed: Masson’s corner took the faintest of flicks off a Cove head at the front post leaving Megginson the easy task of diverting it home to make it 1-2 on 21 minutes.
Home hearts sank, but within two minutes City were level again. Following good pressure down the Brechin left, the ball sat up nicely for Emile Ngoy on the edge of the area who had time to take aim and lash it past McKenzie in the Rangers goal.
City were very much in the game at this point, but on 30 minutes, a deep cross from the Cove left found Smith, an early substitute for Strachan, on the right of the area. He held the ball up and laid it across to the late-arriving Glass who guided it into the City net to put the visitors ahead for the second time.
The sixth and final goal of the game came on just 37 minutes. The influential Glass turned to curl a speculative shot from 25 yards onto the intersection of post and bar. Unfortunately for City, quickest to react was Fyvie for Cove who picked up the loose ball and hammered it under the diving keeper. Cove were hitting top gear by this point; McMinn had to make a great save with his legs on 43 minutes to deny Smith when a fifth seemed inevitable, and was again called into action to deny Glass on the stroke of half time.
The second half could hardly have lived up to the first, and indeed there were no further goals although the visitors had plenty of chances. Mark Wilson stiffened the midfield by replacing Olly Hamilton with Kieran Inglis but Cove continued to dominate.
Lewis McMinn would be City’s Man of the Match, and he pulled off another good double save on 55 minutes, first denying Masson who again shot powerfully from distance and then getting down quickly to smother the follow-up. On the hour Brechin were lucky to remain just the two behind as another speculative curler, this time from Megginson, cannoned off the far post with McMinn a spectator.
City were besieged in their own half by this point and Wilson replaced Ngoy with Ross Crawford but to little avail. McMinn made another good save on 68 minutes and then on 70 minutes nudged a looping effort onto the bar with his fingertips as the Cove support celebrated prematurely. The keeper’s final heroics were to stick out a leg to block yet another goalbound effort on 75 minutes, with the follow-up hooked over the bar by the visitors.
Even then, Cove should have had a fifth but substitute Scott blazed over into the Cemetery End with the goal gaping.
In truth Cove were much the better side, particularly in the second half when City struggled to make inroads into the visitors’ half. But they boast an embarrassment of riches in terms of higher-level experience and not many teams will visit the Glebe with similar attacking firepower. This game will have given Mark Wilson plenty of food for thought and no little encouragement particularly in terms of City’s early attacking play.
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