THE BRECHIN City resurgence under manager Ray McKinnon continued on Saturday against Forfar Athletic with City coming out on top by 4-1, writes John Hoey.
The winning margin perhaps flattered City a little bit as Forfar certainly competed well throughout the 90 minutes, but, the City supporters will have gone home happy with the fact that the team leapfrogged their Angus neighbours to go into third position in the Second Division table as well as extending their unbeaten run to seven games.
This turn of events seemed highly improbable just a few short weeks ago, but the City players worked their socks off yet again on Saturday in a week which had seen them play three games on very heavy pitches and their attitude, work-rate and commitment had to be admired.
Jonathan Brown opened the scoring in 15 minutes when he collected a pass from Kurtis Byrne before firing home a superb right-foot drive which sailed into the bottom corner of the net.
Forfar should have equalised in 34 minutes when Kevin Motion, who had replaced the injured Danny Denholm, was impeded in the box by Graham Hay but Chris Templeman’s spot-kick was superbly saved by Craig Nelson.
City doubled their lead in the 52nd minute when Byrne was fouled in the box by Mark McCulloch, who was promptly sent off by referee Don Robertson for his last-man challenge, and the on-loan Ross County striker stepped up to blast the spot-kick well out of Forfar keeper David Scott’s reach.
Andy Jackson collected a superb David McKenna pass and rounded keeper Scott to make it three in the 61st minute and, although the Loons pulled a goal back through Ross Campbell eight minutes later, Jackson completed the scoring right at the death when a long pass from Brown put him in the clear and he made no mistake from around two yards out.
Manager Ray McKinnon said: “I was delighted with our victory although I didn’t think we were at our best today.
“We huffed and puffed which I think was a culmination of playing three games over the last seven days on very heavy pitches but all credit to my players.
“They worked extremely hard, were very clinical and took their chances.”
Alan Trouten, one of City’s most consistent performers in recent weeks had to leave the field through injury after just minutes but the manager is hopeful that he’ll be okay for next week’s Scottish Cup fourth round clash against St Mirren.
“Alan tweaked his groin and had to come off and although it looked quite bad at the time he says he’s not feeling it so badly now so I’m hoping he’ll be OK for Saturday,” said McKinnon.
Derek Carcary will also come back into the reckoning after missing Saturday’s game because of a family funeral.