Defeat but there’s a case for defence

Pressure on the Dunfermline goal as Brechin go on the attack
Pressure on the Dunfermline goal as Brechin go on the attack

With Brechin in need of points to help them ease away from the foot of League One, they could have done without a trip away from home to title chasers Dunfermline.

Darren Dods’ side will be itching to get their teeth into a home double header over the next two weeks against Peterhead and Stranraer but first had to get this fixture out of the way.

With some bookies Brechin went into the game as 20/1 total rank outsiders.

The Pars have beaten and battered some sides this season so, a home fixture against the league’s bottom club should be a formality, no?

In fact it wasn’t and, although Brechin did nowhere near enough to win the game, they certainly showed enough character in parts to have nicked a draw.

Most impressive about Brechin was the way in which they defended.

It was always expected of Brechin that they’d have to get deep and frustrate Dunfermline, a side who have scored 43 goals in just 16 games this term.

A lot of sides will have arrived at East End Park set up to defend, but few will do it as well as Dods’ men.

The first half was mainly one way traffic apart from the odd occasions Andy Jackson and Issac Layne managed to get hold of the ball up front and offer some respite to their defenders.

Dunfermline were largely limited to half chances and shots from range thanks to Brechin’s well disciplined backline, controlled by Dods.

It would take a moment of class to break Brechin down and that’s exactly what Dunfermline produced.

Jason Talbot picked out Joe Cardle inside the Brechin half.

The midfielder in turn split the Brechin defence with a devastating pass which found Faissal El Bakhtaoui.

The French Moroccan fired his effort beyond Graeme Smith.

Just seven minutes past before it was 2-0 when Michael Paton’s effort from close range gave Smith no chance.

The Fife fans smelled another mauling but, at the break, Dods regrouped his men.

Instead of coming out and putting up the shutters, they bravely took the game to the Pars.

The introduction of Euan Smith from the bench added a little extra impetus and before long Brechin had a goal back.

Dods had his effort blocked by Sean Murdoch but only as far as Issac Layne who netted the rebound.

At that point Brechin needed to keep it tight and then focus on having a real go in the final 10 minutes.

Instead, Pars boss Allan Johnston introduced David Hopkirk from the bench and within the space of barely two minutes he sealed the win with a fine shot from