Brechin City 0, Forfar Athletic 1
THE one-nil score-line suggests another tightly contested local derby - but this was anything but (writes Alan Ducat).
Brechin City found a slick Forfar side a hot handful and were on the back foot for long spells in the game.
Thankfully, the defence held firm and kept the visitors from running away with the game and, in the latter stages, Brechin City twice came close to salvaging a share of the spoils.
However, for many, that would have been seen as an injustice - for the Reds were second best in most departments all afternoon.
The back four worked their socks off to as they strove to keep the Loons at bay, but the midfielders were unable to hold on to the ball for long, while, up front, City were powder puff.
City struggled to cope with the trickery of former player Chris Templeman in the opening 15 minutes, and the tall striker came desperately close with a headed effort from a Stephen Tulloch cross, his effort flashing just wide of target.
Another excellent chance came Forfar’s way in 22 minutes, when a long ball from the left picked out Kevin Byers on his own on the right, the cut-back finding David Mowat, who just failed to squeeze the ball over the line.
It seemed a matter of time before the Loons would take the lead, and they really should have been in front just after the half hour.
Another sweet passing move down the right prised open the Brechin defence and Nicky Low was left all on his own with just the keeper to beat when the ball came into the area.
However the shot was saved by the boot of Craig Nelson in the Berchin goal - and the Reds gained a reprieve.
Templeman then saw his shot saved by the keeper as all the play continued in the direction of the Brechin goal.
Then, right on half-time, having hardly been up the park, City created a golden opportunity, McKenna trying to pick his spot with a headed effort from a King cross, only for Shaughnessy to boot clear from his own goal-line.
Surely that would perk Brechin up for the second period, but it didn’t.
Forfar were soon back on the offensive as they kept probing for then opener, attacking down both flanks at will.
And, finally, in the 61st minute, came the break-through. A pin-point corner from Martyn Fotheringham picked out Chris Templeman, who got in front of his marker to force the ball home.
Before that, chances had fallen to Crawford and Mowat, while the second half also saw two good penalty shouts, one for a shirt-pull on Crawford and another for a push on Templeman, and a cracking drive by Low, which Nelson smothered at his post.
It was only in the very latter stages of the game that Brechin looked like threatening, but it was too little too late and the points were heading back up the A90 to Forfar.
But not before City were reduced to nine men, substitute Derek Carcary foolishly lashing out after being upended by Chris Hegarty challenge, and leaving Matt Northcroft with no option but to produce a straight red card.
The sending off completed a miserable day for City, who can have no arguments with the end result.
They had already been playing with ten men, David McClune leaving the field injured, with the team having already deployed all three subs in a vain bid to turn the tide.
Brechin City - Nelson, McClune, McLauchlan, McLean, Dunlop, Fusco, Brady (David Crawford), Molloy, McKenna, McManus (Lister) and King (Carcary).
Forfar Athletic - McHugh, Ross, McCulloch, Shaughnessy, Tulloch, Byers, Mowat, Fotheringham (Gibson), Low, Templeman (Wilson) and Crawford (Hegarty).