Banks O' Dee
Match Report - By Eoin McNicol
Brechin City and Banks O' Dee served up an early Christmas cracker at Glebe Park yesterday evening as City came back from a 3-goal deficit at half time to preserve their unbeaten status.
A great second half display seen Brechin fight their way back into the game after being 3 goals down at the break after a dreadful opening, meaning that City sit top of the Highland League over Christmas. Goals from Botti Biabi, Fraser MacLeod, Grady McGrath and Marc Scott in the second half helped Brechin turn the score line around which looked a challenging task at the break.
It was a miserable night for football with conditions far from perfect from the first whistle. Early on, good pressing from Aaron Arnott forced an early error from the Banks O’ Dee backline as he intercepted the ball and cut it back to Grady McGrath in the box. The cross fell just behind McGrath but he manged to control it and get a shot off but his effort didn’t trouble the keeper.
There were chances for both sides in the opening 20, a Marc Scott cross met the head of a leaping Grady McGrath but he couldn’t get enough power behind his effort and the keeper held it with ease.
Just over the 20 minute mark, Banks O’ Dee opened the scoring through LACHIE MACLEOD. The number 9 picked up the ball from a cross from Craig Macaskill and he squeezed a shot into the bottom left corner as it curved away from Lenny Wilson.
Brechin looked for an instant response as Aaron Arnott tried to curl a shot in from distance, but it was straight towards the keeper who got his fingers to it.
Half an hour in, Banks O’ Dee were knocking on the door for their second. Macaskill caused City problems on the right again and his cross met Kane Winton in the box whose shot was blocked. Minutes later, Lenny Wilson was called into action again, making himself big to save another close range effort. The rebound landed perfectly for Macaskill who rounded Lenny before blazing his shot over the open goal. Shortly after, LEWIS CROSBIE rifled his shot in from range to double the away sides advantage.
Just before the break, Banks O’ Dee grabbed their 3rd of the game after a rare Euan Spark error at the back allowed MICHAEL PHILIPSON to go through on goal before firing past Wilson between the sticks.
A disastrous first half from Brechin forced Andy Kirk to make a change at half time which saw Botti Biabi replace Aaron Arnott. Biabi made an instant impact, winning a penalty after being taken down in the box. Grady McGrath placed the ball on the spot before smashing his penalty down the centre of the goal which Shearer parried away to safety, leaving the City fans shocked at a rare McGrath miss.
It took BOTTI BIABI just 7 minutes to get on the score line, a scramble in the box as Brechin peppered the Banks O’ Dee goal found its way to Biabi’s feet and he finished from close range as the tide began to turn for the home side.
Brechin fought their way back into the game and looked for their second in quick succession. Just 10 minutes into the second half, McGrath was played through down the right and crossed the ball into Marc Scott but the ball was just behind him. Moments later, Botti Biabi forced a low save from the keeper who pushed the ball into the path of FRASER MACLEOD who made no mistake with the rebound as he fired it home.
Banks O Dee’ threatened again and Lenny Wilson produced a fantastic save, coming off of his goal line quickly and saving with his outstretched leg. Good reactions from Lewis Crosbie saw him pick up the rebound and try a lofted effort while Wilson was off his line. The goalward effort was superbly headed off the line by Kevin McHattie and into Lenny Wilson’s arms to keep Brechin in the game.
Just over an hour in, Brechin grabbed the equaliser through GRADY MCGRATH. After receiving a cut back from Fraser MacLeod, the striker struck the ball perfectly from the right of the penalty spot as it nestled its way into the top left of the side net to make up for his penalty miss.
Brechin found themselves behind in the game again with 15 minutes to go through an unfortunate deflection. CRAIG MACASKILL again made his impact on the game, controlling the ball in the box and shooting goalward which took a horrible deflection sending Lenny Wilson the wrong way. The keeper tried to change his direction, but the ball spun past him and into the net to give Banks O’ Dee the advantage.
Banks O’ Dee’s lead didn’t last long as Brechin came from behind for the second time of the match just 5 minutes later. MARC SCOTT played advantage after a foul on the edge of the area before getting into the box and having a shot at goal, his low effort had too much power on it for the keeper to get down in time as it went straight under the keepers body and into the back of the net.
There were chances for both sides to win it late on, but there were to be no further goals as the spoils were shared.
An absolute cracker of a game, and there is another to look forward to next Friday as we face Banks O’ Dee again at Spain Park in our last game of the year.
Other Results - Breedon Highland League
Deveronvale 1 Buckie Thistle 2
Formartine United 0 Fraserburgh 1
Forres Mechanics 1 Lossiemouth 0