City no match for the Warriors

Gerry McLauchlan and John Gemmell challenge in the air for the ball.'Picture by Derek Watt
Gerry McLauchlan and John Gemmell challenge in the air for the ball.'Picture by Derek Watt

BRECHIN City open their league campaign with a home fixture against Albion Rovers this coming Saturday - hoping to fare better then they have done in the two early season cup competitions.

The reds did well a week past Saturday, taking the Newco Rangers to extra time in the opening round of the Ramsdens Cup, before going down by the narrow margin of two goals to one.

David McKenna's shot is saved by Callum Reidford.'Picture by Derek Watt

David McKenna's shot is saved by Callum Reidford.'Picture by Derek Watt

But City failed to build on that live BBC Alba TV performance when, on Saturday past, they were soundly beaten four-nil at Stenhousemuir in the first round of the Scottish Communities League Cup.

Brechin boss Jim Weir said the result should serve as a wake-up call ahead of the league campaign.

“We switched off right at the start when Stenny scored the opener with a great finish,” he commented.

“I felt that four-nil flattered Stenny but the result certainly gives us a wake-up call.

“To lose by four goals was a bit of an embarrassment.”

It took the home side just forty seconds to open the scoring at Ochilview, the Warriors going on to clinch victory with a trio of late strikes.

Michael Andrews kept his place in goal for City, with a back-four of Paul McLean, Ewan Moyes, Gerry McGlauchlan and Johnny Brown.

Ryan Stewart and Derek Carcary were in the wide midfield positions with Craig Molloy and Garry Brady in central midfield with Andy Jackson and David McKenna leading the attack.

City were caught cold when, in the opening minute, John Gemmell picked the ball up around 30 yards from goal and fired in a tremendous left-foot drive which flew past the despairing arms of Andrews into the top right-hand corner of the net.

The hosts should have made it two just a minute later when former Forfar defender Greg Ross crossed into the box for Gemmell to glance a header just wide of the target.

City had a chance in eight minutes when they won a free-kick on the left, but there were no takers for Derek Carcary’s cross into the box.

The Warriors hit back and they were unlucky not to double their lead after ten minutes when Sean Dickson was clean through on goal but Andrews was quick off the mark to narrow the angle.

Stenhousemuir had other chances to extend their lead but it remained one-nil at the break.

City started the second-half on the offensive and a McKenna shot was cleared off the line in the 48th minute.

At the other end, a Brown Ferguson free-kick was palmed away for a corner by Andrews.

Ferguson was clean through on goal just a minute later but a superb last-gasp tackle from Brown averted what seemed to be a certain goal.

In the 58th minute a Molloy header from a McKenna cross was easily held by Reidford and on the hour mark, a Hodge 20 yard drive was gathered by Andrews.

In the 70th minute, a Brown free-kick was well held by Reidford and three minutes later, substitute Johnny Stewart picked up a pass from Jackson and headed straight for goal but he steered the ball well wide of the target.

The game as a contest was ended by Stenhousemuir, who scored three times in the closing fifteen minutes.

The home side’s second goal came in the 75th minute when a Gemmell pass was volleyed home by substitute Darren Smith.

Seven minutes later Dickson was clean through on goal when he went tumbling in the box after a challenge by Gerry McGlauchlan.

The City man was shown a straight red card and Stewart Kean stepped up to make it there for the home side.

The fourth and final goal came in the last minute, Smith running clear of the City defence to pick his spot in the net.

Now that they are out of both early season cup tourneys early doors Brechin City will now have to concentrate on getting off to a solid start in the league.

And, with three home games out of four they have the perfect platform from which to launch their points bid.

Following the visit of Albion Rovers this Saturday, City are back at Stenhousemuir on league business on Saturday, August 18, with home games against East Fife and Alloa Athletic next on the programme.