Brechin City end League One season with loss to Stranraer

Robert Thomson's shot is charged down by the Stranraer defender.
Robert Thomson's shot is charged down by the Stranraer defender.

Brechin City ended their League One season with a defeat against Stranraer at Glebe Park - making it just their seventh loss in the league this season.

Ray McKinnon’s side had already booked their place in the play-offs so the gaffer took the opportunity to rest players, with Graeme Smith, Bobby Barr and Alan Trouten all featured on the bench. Andy Jackson was also missing from the line-up due to a suspension.

The visitors needed all three points to be in with a chance of taking the title, and showed their intent early on.

Stephen Stirling unleashed a shot within the first few seconds of action, with Patrick O’Neil quick to tip the effort over the bar.

City struck back with an attempt of their own in the seventh minute, with Robert Thomson’s effort from outside the box comfortably saved by David Mitchell.

Thomson again threatened in the 18th minute, but his shot was straight at the ‘keeper.

Three minutes later, Stranraer took the lead, when Stirling slotted past O’Neil.

However, they didn’t hold the lead for long, after Ryan Ferguson lofted the ball over Mitchell to equalise a minute later.

Stranraer regained their lead in the 42 minute in controversial circumstances. Ewan McNeil appeared to be fouled by Willie Gibson, but referee Craig Charleston awarded a penalty. Gibson stepped up to take the spot kick, and buried the ball into the bottom right corner.

Half-time: Brechin City 1-2 Stranraer

Nine minutes into the second half, Brechin thought they had netted a leveller when Thomson fired home from a Jamie Masson cross, but the striker was offside.

O’Neil was on hand in the 64th minute to deny Sean Winter, saving his shot from the edge of the box.

City were dealt a killer blow in the 74th minute when the referee awarded Stranraer a second penalty after Darren McCormack had blocked a Gibson shot. However, the ref deemed him to have deliberately handled the ball, and sent off the defender. Gibson again stepped up to take the kick, and sent the ‘keeper the wrong way for the second time.

Bobby Barr came close to pulling a goal back in the 84th minute, but his strike was tipped over the bar by Mitchell.

Two minutes later, Barr set up Alan Trouten, but he shot just wide of the post.