Match Report - By Eoin McNicol
Brechin City crashed out of the SPFL Trust Trophy after a disappointing outing against Hibernian B yesterday evening.
A disjointed performance from City saw the young Hibs B side progress comfortably at Glebe Park, with Brechin unable to break down the well organised Hibees. The visitors took their chances, beating McCabe with four clinical finishes to progress to the 3rd round.
There was more squad rotation for this cup clash - Stuart Heenan and Jamie McCabe came in for Ewan Loudon and Lenny Wilson following Saturdays vital win over Brora Rangers. Andy Kirk was also forced to make a late change to his starting lineup which saw Liam Duell replace Michael Cruickshank.
Heenan found himself one-on-one with Freddie Owens in the opening minute after being played in behind, but the flag was raised for offside to deny him.
The young Hibs side took an early lead just 12 minutes in - Seth Patrick lost possession just outside the area to Malek Zaid before slotting in RUDI MOLOTKINOV inside the box who tucked his shot past McCabe into the bottom left corner.
City were forced into an early substitution through injury as Euan Spark was replaced by Ewan Loudon midway through the half.
On 25 minutes, Duell controlled the ball well with his chest following a cross from the right but couldn’t get a shot off from close range and a scramble in the 6-yard box led to a Hibs goal kick.
McGrath threatened on the half hour mark, his goal bound shot was blocked by Jacob MacIntyre and turned away for a corner. From the resulting set piece, Stuart Heenan went short to McGrath who’s cross-cum-shot was blocked for another corner which came to nothing.
Hibernian B doubled their advantage 36 minutes in through a set piece from distance. The free kick was taken by Reuben McAllister who lumped the ball deep into the box, Jamie McCabe was beaten in the air by KANAYO MEGWA who leaped above him to head into an open net.
City came straight out from the break looking to cut the deficit in half. Grady McGrath tried his luck from range with a decent effort, but the keeper was able to get his body behind the ball to stop the shot.
Brechin pushed to break down the well organised Hibs backline with player/coach Darren McGregor at the heart of it. Marc Scott did well to keep the ball in play on the byline after a diagonal long ball, the winger then flashed it across goal where McGrath smashed it at the near post but was denied from point blank range as Freddie Owens made a spectacular save with his foot.
Shortly after the hour mark, a lovely threaded ball from Heenan picked out substitute Ewan White running down the left. White was able to find Marc Scott in the box who controlled the ball well before curling a left footed effort inches past the post.
Minutes later, City were denied by small margins again as Loudon rifled a shot goalward from 25 yards, but a deflection took it just over the crossbar.
With only 15 minutes to play City were in desperate need for a goal, but the Hibs backline stood strong. City couldn’t find a way through in attack which saw the ball played backwards to McHattie, who drilled his long effort wide of the Hibs goal.
Hibs B put the tie beyond City’s reach in the 76th minute when Ryan Ferguson was robbed of possession on the right by substitute ALFIE SMITH, who had space to run into the box before calmly slotting home past McCabe into the far bottom corner.
ALFIE SMITH got his second of the evening as he wrapped up the scoring with a peach of a goal. The substitute received the ball outside the area before curling it into the top right corner leaving McCabe no chance.
A performance below the usual standard for City who failed to click for large parts of the match, but the focus returns to the Highland League as we face Nairn County at the Carnegie Fuels Stadium at Glebe Park on Saturday.