Match Report - By Steven Mew
Despite a marked improvement from their showing at the weekend, City would ultimately return from the capital with nothing to show for their efforts following a narrow defeat against high-flying Edinburgh City yesterday evening.
There were four changes from Saturday as Jonathan Page, Scott Reekie, Abdul Osman and Player/Manager Michael Paton came into the side. Dropping to the bench was Ewan McLevy, Kieran Inglis and Sean Slaven whilst Chris McKee sat out through suspension.
The game got off to the worst possible start for Brechin as the hosts put themselves ahead within the 2nd minute. City failed to deal with Craig Thomson’s corner and the ball fell kindly for DANNY HANDLING who smashed home from six yards out.
Having conceded so early on it would have been easy for City’s heads to go down but instead they pulled themselves back level 12 minutes later following a delightful flowing passing move involving much of the team. City worked their way into the home penalty area with Currie releasing Paton down the right who cut the back back for BOBBY BARR to convert.
Shortly after the goal, City were forced into their first substitution when Rory Currie landed awkwardly on his knee and was unable to continue. He hobbled off to be replaced by on-loan Hamilton striker Sean Slaven.
On 26 minutes City came close to nudging themselves in front following a very similar move to the equaliser. This time it was Michael Paton’s defence-splitting pass which played in Adam Devine – he fired the ball across for Scott Reekie who was denied by an excellent save from Callum Antell.
Ten minutes before the break, Sean Slaven tried his luck with an ambitious 30 yard effort which flew just past the upright.
Brechin had been looking comfortable but there was a let-off a minute later when a cross from the left side found De Vita completely unmarked at the back post, however he could only fire straight at Hutton when he should have done better.
The sides went in at the break level, with City having plenty cause for optimism following a fairly solid first half showing.
Ten minutes after the restart a long ball over the top caused problems for the City defence however Sean McIntosh did well to get back and block. Shortly after, Josh Campbell curled a 25 yard free kick narrowly over the crossbar.
Having just returned from a hamstring injury, Player/Manager Michael Paton made way for Kieran Inglis after 65 minutes.
Although Edinburgh had much of the possession, a resolute City defence had limited them to very few opportunities and it took a moment of magic to put the Citizens in front after 71 minutes.
Fresh off the back of being named League 2 Player of the Month, RAFFAELE DE VITA got the better of Sean McIntosh as he came in from the left hand side before unleashing a terrific strike which arrowed into the top corner, giving Hutton no chance.
It had been harsh on a City side who, despite not creating a great deal going forward, never looked in any real danger of conceding at the other end.
With a quarter of an hour remaining, Abdul Osman was replaced by Connor Coupe as City chased an equaliser but with the exception of a Kieran Inglis drive from the edge of the area which was straight at Antell, they were unable to create any further clear cut opportunities.
It proved to be a familiar tale for City as they ultimately came away with nothing when many would argue that they were again worthy of a point.
Michael Paton’s side now make the long journey for the 12 noon kick off against 9th placed Annan Athletic at Galabank on Saturday – a game that has shaped up as a ‘must win’ for City.