3 October 2020
Pre-Season | Brechin City 0-5 Raith Rovers
City's pre-season schedule came to an end yesterday as they went down to Raith Rovers in the torrential rain at Glebe Park.
In front of the new Pixellot camera, which provided a valuable streaming service to those who were unable to attend, the full-timers arguably provided City with the toughest test of pre-season.
Persistent rain since early morning had cast some doubt whether the game would go ahead and although conditions were far from ideal for either side, the Glebe Park surface held up sufficiently.
Within the opening 30 seconds City had the first chance of the game when a trialist, who bagged a double against Forfar in midweek, cut inside from the left before firing a shot over.
On 7 minutes Scott Cusick collected a pass on the halfway line and darted through the heart of midfield before shooting wide from 20 yards.
The visitors' first real opening came after 13 minutes. Ross Matthews played a ball in behind the defence for Manny Duku who cut inside and fired straight at O'Neil.
A minute later O'Neil was called into action again to push away Regan Hendry's effort and new recruit Gregor Jordan was in the right place to block the follow up.
Shortly after the quarter hour mark, Ross Brown's header from a Cusick corner appeared to come off the arm of a Raith defender in the box, however the referee waved the claims away.
Raith would go on to open the scoring after 20 minutes with a well worked move which resulted in Dylan Tait dinking a ball in into the box for MANNY DUKU who had the easy task of nodding into the net.
City came close to grabbing an equaliser almost immediately. A cross from Cusick had to be tipped onto the bar by Thomson and the Raith keeper was up quickly to get his fingertips to the rebound from Matty Todd.
Duku was causing plenty of problems up top for Rovers - he latched onto a through ball before rounding the advancing O'Neil, however Brown was on hand to block the effort on the line and O''Neil recovered to keep out the rebound.
At the other end, Matty Todd latched on to a lofted ball over the top but MacDonald was equal to his powerful effort.
The visitors doubled their advantage just before the half hour mark with another well worked move. This time, a trialist provided the cross for DAN ARMSTRONG who connected perfectly with a first time volley into the corner.
On 35 minutes it was three for John McGlynn's side. ETHAN ROSS, a recent loan signing from Aberdeen was played in on goal - his effort cannoned off the inside of the post and marginally crossed the line, despite the best efforts of Gregor Jordan who had attempted to clear.
City made their first substitution 7 minutes before the break with Leeroy Makovora replacing Scott Cusick who appeared to have picked up a knock.
O'Neill in the City goal had to be alert to stop Raith adding to their advantage before the interval. He got down well to keep out a 20-yard effort from Ross whilst Duku's deflected effort was straight down the throat of the City stopper.
Mark Wilson made two changes at half time with the trialist and Benjamin Luissint being replaced by Kieran Inglis and Jimmy Scott.
The visitors started the second half brightly with Dylan Tait curling a shot wide and shortly after, a cutback found Ross Matthews in the box who sidestepped his man before striking past the far post.
QUINN COULSON, who had just been substituted on three minutes prior, added a fourth goal for Rovers. The youngster picked up a loose ball inside the box and evaded the challenge of Jordan before calmly slotting beyond O'Neil.
On 71 minutes Rovers rounded off the scoring with a calamitous goal from a City perspective. An in-swinging cross into the box bounced off the unfortunate JONATHAN PAGE and the ball squirmed into the corner despite the attempts of O'Neil to claw it away.
It would have easy for City heads to go down however they rallied and could count themselves unfortunate not to at least net a consolation. Substitute Dave McKay forced a great save from Thomson in the Raith goal whilst Page almost got himself on the scoresheet at the right end when he headed wide from a Scott Reekie cross.
The City skipper would come even closer when Thomson had to produce a terrific point blank save to keep out his powerful header from McKay's delivery.
Substitute Luke Mahady very nearly added further gloss to the scoreline for Rovers when his strike came back off the post before being cleared to safety.
City continued to plug away in the closing stages and Reekie was unlucky to see his shot flash just past the far post.
The scoreline in the end was perhaps a little harsh on a young City side who had their fair share of opportunities and played some neat, passing football at times. It was another worthwhile exercise against strong opposition which will stand them in good stead ahead of a tough opening Betfred Cup fixture against Dundee United on Wednesday.
Brechin City: 21. Patrick O'Neil, 2. Sean McIntosh (6. Jonathan Page 63), 4. Ross Brown (5. Luc Bollan), 7. Trialist (10. Martin Scott), 9. Rory Currie, 11. Scott Cusick (17. Leeroy Makovora) (Dave McKay 51), 12. Scott Reekie, 14. Benjamin Luissint (8. Kieran Inglis), 15. Gregor Jordan, 16. Connor Barron, 18. Matthew Todd.
Raith Rovers FC: 1. Jamie MacDonald, 3. Kieran MacDonald, 4. Iain Davidson, 6. Kyle Benedictus, 7. Dan Armstrong, 8. Regan Hendry, 9. Manny Duku, 12. Ross Matthews, 18. Dylan Tait, 2. Ethan Ross, 25. Trialist. Subs: 17. Robbie Thomson, 11. Grant Anderson, 16. Jack Smith, 19. Luke Mahady, 22. Aaron Arnott, 27. Quinn Coulson, 28 Kyle Bow (GK)