Brechin battered after Pars go full throttle in opening league fixture

Derek Watt Photography.
Derek Watt Photography.

Brechin City were hammered 6-1 by League One title favourites Dunfermline Athletic in Darren Dods’ first league match as manager.

Faissal El-Bakhtaoui hit a brace with Michael Moffat, Joe Cardle, Ryan Wallace and Josh Falkingham all scoring for the visitors to make it three defeats from three competitive games for Dods and City.

Substitute David Weatherston scored Brechin’s only goal - their first competitive strike of the season.

City had the first chance from a free kick right on the edge of the area; Craig Johnston was brought down on a mazy run with Robert Thomson firing the free kick into the wall.

The visitors were ahead on seven minutes though when El-Bakhtaoui seized upon a defensive error and fired past Graeme Smith at the second time of asking.

The Pars almost made it two soon after when Cardle flicked Ryan Williamson’s cross back into the box but there was nobody there to capitalise on the clever move.

The power of Moffat and pace of El-Bakhtaoui were a real handful for the City centre halves but they managed to repel the next few waves of attack.

Johnston had a pop on the half volley for City but his effort was easily caught by Sean Murdoch.

It was 2-0 minutes later when Smith had to be at full stretch to deny a Ross Perry header from becoming an own goal, with Moffat nodding the saved effort in from two yards out.

Cardle made it three on 31 minutes with a stunning strike from 20 yards that gave Smith no chance.

El-Bakhtaoui almost added another with an identical effort before Johnston hit the Dunfermline bar from a looping cross.

The Pars’ Moroccan star was able to make it four minutes later though, nodding past Smith simply from Michael Paton’s cross; the defence had been posted AWOL yet again.

Paul McLean and Paton traded chances after the break before great work from James Dale and Andy Jackson set up a great chance but nobody could capitalise.

Andy Geggan and Moffat sent efforts just past the post before Sean Murdoch was tested three times in quick succession.

First he got down low to deny Weatherston’s low strike before saving a Jackson bicycle kick from point blank range; the pick of the bunch then followed when he somehow managed to push Craig Molloy’s screamer over the bar.

Wallace then breezed through the City defence to finish superbly, smashing the ball across Smith and into the far post.

A beautiful Brechin move saw Johnston’s cross nodded into Weatherston’s path by Thomson and the former Alloa Athletic man flicked it past Murdoch with a deft finish.

But fellow sub Falkingham landed another sickening blow to City, dancing through the defence and firing past Smith.

Dods was livid at full time and has plenty to work on ahead of a tough trip to face Ayr United at Somerset Park this coming Saturday, with the defence a serious concern.

Brechin: Smith; McLean, McCormack, Perry, Buchan; Johnston, Molloy, Smith, Dale (Weatherston, 55); Thomson, Jackson

Dunfermline: Murdoch; Williamson, Fordyce (Talbot, 45), Richards-Everton, Martin; Byrne (Wallace, 59), Geggan; Paton, El Bakhtaoui (Falkingham, 69), Cardle; Moffat