Brechin City 2
Ayr United 1
IT WAS a home match with a twist for Brechin City as they travelled down to Forfar to host Ayr United at Station Park, writes Amanda Taylor.
City dominated the first half, but an Ayr United fight back in the early stages of the second half could have forced a draw, but a 75th minute red card saw City calmly hold on to their lead.
Two minutes into the match, City were making themselves feel very much at home, with Paul McLean having an early attempt saved by Graeme Smith in the Ayr United goal.
And City weren’t to be denied after 15 minutes, when Derek Carcary fired home the opening goal.
Gary Fusco set up Carcary with a pass from inside his own half, and Carcary made no mistake with his left-footed effort.
Just four minutes later, Alan Trouten doubled City’s lead, netting his eighth goal in just 10 games.
David McKenna delivered a cross in from the left wing, and Trouten headed home from just six yards out.
McKenna had a chance himself in the 24th minute to put the tie out of Ayr’s reach, but his shot hit the woodwork.
Carcary had a chance to grab himself a first-half brace, but his volleyed effort in the 25 minute was saved by Smith.
Trouten had another chance in the 35th minute, but Smith wasn’t to be beaten and saved his effort.
Ayr United had several chances to pull a goal back at the end of the first half.
Mark Shankland had the first attempt, but his effort failed to trouble Michael Andrews in the City goal, as the ball sailed over the bar.
Ayr’s second attempt, this time from Michael Donald, was blocked by Fusco. Robbie Crawford had their last attempt of their half, but he couldn’t get his effort on target.
Half-time: Brechin City, 2; Ayr United, 0.
Ayr started the second half sharped than they did in the first, with Liam Buchanan forcing a save from Andrews in the 48th minute.
They had several chances in the early stages, but failed to take them, with two chances from Crawford missing the target.
However, Ayr’s pressure paid off in the 61st minute with Buchanan latching on to a cross from Donald and tucking the ball away.
Ayr were reduced to 10 men in the 75th minute, after Neil McGregor picked up his second yellow card in the space of 10 minutes.
After the red card, Ayr’s attempt at a comeback eased off, allowing City to regain the upper hand.
Trouten almost capitalised on this in the 84th minute, but Smith was able to parry his effort.
City’s last attempt came from midfielder Ryan Stewart, who came on as a second half substitue for David McKenna, but his right-footed effort was turned round the post by Smith in injury time.
Team: Michael Andrews, Gerry McLauchlan, Graham Hay, Ewan Moyes, Paul McLean, Alan Trouten, Gary Fusco, Jonathan Stewart, David McKenna, Derek Carcary and Andrew Jackson. Subs – Craig Nelson, Alex Pursehouse, Garry Brady, Ryan Stewart and Aaron Murdoch.
Speaking after the match, manager Ray McKinnon said: “I began to worry that it would be a game of two halves with the wind.
“I was glad to score two goals in the first half, but would have preferred three or four.
“I knew it was going to be difficult in the second half, but my players worked so hard and played some great stuff.
“It’s another three points towards our play-off push.”