Brechin City Football Club

Glebe Park, Brechin, Angus DD9 6BJ

Tel : 01356 623344
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Brechin City 3 Spartans 2

Match Report - By Eoin McNicol

There was penalty heartbreak for City at Glebe Park yesterday afternoon as Lowland League champions Spartans progressed to the final of the Pyramid Playoffs following a pulsating encounter.

Despite Brechin’s hard-fought comeback to win on the day and level the aggregate score, it was the cruel lottery of a penalty shootout that saw Spartans come out as 4-3 winners with Kevin McHattie and Ewan Loudon’s penalties being saved by Blair Carswell.

Andy Kirk made 2 alterations to his starting line-up after last weekends narrow first leg defeat at Ainslie Park with Michael McArthur and Jamie Bain coming in for Anthony McDonald and Jordan Northcott.

It looked to be an exciting game from the first whistle as Kieran Inglis was denied by the post in the opening minute. Inglis picked up the ball on the edge of the area before his left footed effort curled and hit the outside of the post as the goalkeeper was rooted to the spot.

Seven minutes in, Fraser MacLeod did well to rob the Spartans midfield of possession in his own half before bursting away on the counter attack. MacLeod showed great pace down the middle before picking out Marc Scott on the left who whipped in a cross which was gathered by Carswell.

On the quarter hour mark, Spartans opened the scoring through an unfortunate own goal by Kevin McHattie. An in swinging corner taken by Cameron Russell was whipped in towards the back post where the ball deflected off McHattie’s thigh and into the back of his own net.

There were little clear-cut chances for the majority of the first half with Brechin struggling to break down the Spartans backline.

Just before the break, City levelled the scoring through FRASER MACLEOD with a pinpoint effort into the far corner. Botti Biabi crossed the ball in from the right but Michael Herd was there to head the ball out to the left where the ball fell for MacLeod and his right footed shot curled perfectly into the far corner.

City came out of the break piling the pressure on the Spartans backline as they looked to level the aggregate score.

Eight minutes into the second half, Brechin were harshly denied a penalty after Botti Biabi was brought down in the box following a great piece of skill which helped him beat his man before being taken down.

This decision looked to be the final nail in the coffin as Spartans went up the pitch and scored just a minute later to regain their advantage. Cammy Russell was found in space on the left before cutting the ball back to BLAIR HENDERSON in the box who tapped beyond Lenny Wilson.

However, the Highland League champions were not going to go down without a fight. Just after the hour, Brechin reduced the deficit through KIERAN INGLIS. Botti Biabi did well initially as he showed great feet to create space for Inglis in the box before picking him out, Inglis then calmly tucked his shot into the bottom left to spark the comeback.

The goal really changed the momentum of the game in Brechin’s favour, just 2 minutes later there were shouts for another City penalty were waived away after handball claims.

However, Brechin grabbed another in quick succession to level the aggregate score in the 65th minute. Fraser MacLeod smashed one from range which rattled the post and bounced favourably to BOTTI BIABI who was first to react as he leaped high to head the ball home.

The second half started to show the superb attacking football that has been on display from Brechin all season, which nearly presented one of City’s goals of the season as MacLeod and McGrath combined. MacLeod showed his class as he flicked the ball past his opponent with a sublime touch before a one-two movement with Grady presented MacLeod a chance to cross into the box, however the attack came to an end as Spartans cleared.

78 minutes in, Fraser MacLeod was forced off with a knock after a collision saw Spartans awarded a free kick. The free kick hit the wall but moments later there was a huge scare for City as a deflected effort had beat Lenny Wilson and looped inches wide of his post.

In the final 10, both teams were going for it knowing the next goal would likely be the winner. City were awarded a free kick 20 yards out which McHattie stepped over, his effort looked to have beaten the keeper as it dipped but it was just over the bar as it hit the roof of the net.

McHattie was there again at the other end of the pitch with a pivotal block in front of goal as he headed a powerful effort over the bar.

It was end to end stuff in the closing stages. Five minutes from time, Biabi was played through on the right before cutting in and picking out Inglis - his effort was blocked and cleared as far as Loudon on the edge of area who looked to replicate his late triumphs against Buckie. However, the substitutes shot was blocked.

With an aggregate score of 3-3, the match went straight to a penalty shootout to decide who would progress. It was 3 perfectly placed penalties by Inglis, McGrath and Bain before Blair Carswell guessed correctly for Ewan Loudon and Kevin McHattie’s penalties to send Spartans through after winning 4-3 in the shootout.


6 May 2023
Carnegie Fuels Stadium at Glebe Park
Attendance: 1900
Fraser MacLeod 45
Kieran Inglis 61
Botti Biabi 65
Kevin McHattie (O.G.) 15
Blair Henderson 55

Brechin City

1 Lenny Wilson
2 Jamie Bain
3 Kevin McHattie
5 Hamish Thomson
7 Marc Scott
9 Grady McGrath
11 Kieran Inglis
15 Fraser MacLeod
16 Michael McArthur
20 Botti Biabi
24 Euan Spark
4 Aubrel Koutsimouka
6 Nathan Cooney
10 Anthony McDonald
12 Michael Cruickshank
17 Calum Ferguson
18 Ewan Loudon
22 Jordan Northcott
21 Dean Easton


  • On: Ewan Loudon
    Off: Michael McArthur ( 56 )
  • On: Jordan Northcott
    Off: Fraser MacLeod ( 79 )


1 Blair Carswell
2 Kieran Watson
3 Michael Allan
4 Michael Herd
5 Jordan Tapping
6 Rhys Armstrong
7 Jamie Dishington
8 Samuel Jones
9 Blair Henderson
10 Bradley Whyte
11 Cammy Russell
12 Jamie Penker
14 Ian McFarland
15 Sean Brown
16 Gregor Woods
17 Callum Mackay
18 Gavin Morrison
19 Adam Meek
20 Ben Lamont
21 Harvey Swann


  • On: Harvey Swann
    Off: Michael Allan ( 26 )
  • On: Sean Brown
    Off: Rhys Armstrong ( 70 )