Brechin City’s dreams of going into the hat for the fifth round Scottish Cup draw came to an end at St Mirren Park on Saturday with the Paisley Buddies comfortably winning by 2-0, writes John Hoey.
Saints dominated proceedings from start to finish and scored their two goals in a first-half which they totally controlled.
Kenny McLean grabbed the first, direct from a free-kick after 32 minutes and former Cowdenbeath striker Jon Robertson added a second with a wonderful volley three minutes before the break.
City tried very hard throughout the 90 minutes and the commitment, application and work-rate from the players which has been so evident in recent weeks was there again for all to see, but their SPL opponents were just too good on the day.
Although the City players would have been bitterly disappointed with their defeat, there can be no disgrace in going out of the tournament to a better team.
Manager Ray McKinnon, commenting immediately after the game said: “St Mirren are a very good side and there’s no doubt that they deserved to win the game.
“With the players we had available, our aim was to sit in and frustrate the opposition and try and hit on the counter-attack and it worked fairly well in the opening half-hour.
“We then lost a goal to a set-piece which put us under a bit of pressure and we then lost a ‘wonder goal’ shortly before half-time.
“Despite the fact that we were two goals down, my players still had a desire to win and certainly didn’t want to lose face by losing further goals.”
“I have a very honest and hard-working group of lads at the club who are very determined and I have absolutely no complaints with the way they performed.”
Alan Trouten had failed to recover from injury and his place was taken by Derek Carcary while Gerry McGlauchlan was drafted back into the side, replacing Garry Brady.
As expected, City had to weather an early storm but were playing well and containing the hosts up until the 32nd minute when they conceded a free-kick at the edge of the penalty-area.
Striker McLean who has been attracting the interest of bigger clubs then stepped up to curl a magnificent free-kick beyond the reach of Nelson.
City tried manfully to get back into the game, but they were dealt a bad blow three minutes later when defender Jonathan Brown who had picked up an injury had to leave the field to be replaced by Johnny Stewart.
City had to re-adjust things in defence with McGlauchlan moving to right-back, Paul McLean moving over to the left and Stewart playing in midfield and they had hardly settled into this pattern when they lost a further goal three minutes before the break when former Cowdenbeath striker Robertson fired home a superb 35 yard first-time volley.
It was more of the same after the break with the Buddies having by far the lion’s share of possession and pressure but despite creating further goal-scoring opportunities, a combination of poor finishing and some superb goalkeeping from Nelson meant that they were unable to add to their tally.