Brechin City snatched a draw from the brink of defeat against Ayr at Somerset Park on Saturday, despite being reduced to 10 men.
City were shocked in the 34th minute when centre-back Graham Hay was given his marching orders by referee Don Robertson after a tackle on Michael McGowan and Ayr took advantage of City’s misfortune by scoring two goals in quick succession just before the break.
The first goal came after 43 minutes when Michael Moffat lobbed City ‘keeper Graeme Smith and Ayr doubled their lead just a couple of minutes later when McGowan blasted home a cross from the left from player-boss Mark Roberts.
The City players were glad to hear the whistle blow for half-time and even the most diehard of visiting fans would have given anything for City’s chances at this stage of the game. However, City came out with their sleeves rolled up and in a determined frame of mind and set about their task of trying to rectify a disappointing first-half performance.
They pulled a goal back in the 68th minute when Paul McLean picked up the ball wide on the right and crossed into the Ayr penalty-box for Alan Trouten who glanced a header into the bottom corner of the net.
The odds were still stacked against City but they stuck to their task and despite Ayr’s numerical advantage, it was City controlling the game, applying pressure to the home defence and they got their reward deep into injury-time when McLean got himself into the Ayr penalty-box and was on hand to poke home the equaliser after an Andy Jackson shot had been blocked by David Hutton.
The relief and joy on the faces of the players, management team and supporters was there for all to see but it was no more than City deserved after a gutsy and brave second-half display.