Brechin play gives hope for future

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Brechin City moved off the bottom of the Ladbrokes League One table following a 2-0 victory over Stranraer at Glebe Park.

The Blues now replace City at the foot of the table.

This was a match that City simply had to win as a victory for the visitors would have seen them increase the points gap to five, but City weathered early pressure from the Blues to grab two goals within five minutes to give them the upper hand.

City were awarded a penalty a minute before the break which if converted would have undoubtedly wrapped victory but Stranraer keeper David McGurn brought off a great save from Isaac Layne’s spot-kick.

The visitors pushed forward after the break in an effort to get back into the match but despite having the majority of territorial advantage they could find no way past a solid and resolute City defence.

Stranraer put pressure on the home defence right from the kick-off but City grabbed the opener with a brilliant goal from Dene SHIELDS after 18 minutes.

Isaac Layne picked up the ball at the left edge of the penalty-box and sent a good pass across the 18-yard line to Shields who swiftly turned before firing a cracking drive into the top corner of the net.

This goal gave the home side confidence and they increased their lead just five minutes later.

LAYNE again picked up the ball at the left side of the penalty area and darted past a couple of Blues defenders before unleashing a superb right foot shot which soared past David McGurn in the Stranraer goal.

Play then swung from end to end with City pushing forward to try and increase their advantage with the Blues also applying a lot of pressure on the City goal in an effort to reduce the deficit.

It looked all over for the visitors though a minute before half-time when City were awarded a penalty. David Weatherston picked up the ball deep in the opposition penalty area but was brought down by Blues defender Scott Rumsby. There was no doubt that is was a penalty but McGurn brilliantly tipped away Layne’s spot-kick.

The penalty save undoubtedly gave the visitors confidence at the start of the second-half because they immediately exerted a lot of pressure on the home defence but were unable to create anything clear-cut in front of goal and it was City who came closest to scoring again in the 55th minute when Layne broke clear and sent a good ball forward to Andy Jackson who took a couple of steps before firing in a great drive which was tipped round the post by McGurn.

The Blues again pushed forward relentlessly but despite having the majority of possession, they were unable to find any past a very strong and resolute home defence superbly marshalled by Paul McLean and Darren McCormack with City holding on for a vital three league points.