East Fife 0, Brechin City 0
BRECHIN City earned a share of the spoils in a no-scoring draw at East Fife on Saturday (writes Laura Cuthill).
For the away day, City brought back fans’ favourie Gerry McLaughlan and striker Rory McAllister.
The duo returned to the line-up, with Mark Archdeacon dropping out and Davie White getting a place on the bench.
Paul McLean’s right-back berth went to Andy Cook, also returning to the line up.
City fans who travelled to East Fife expecting a thrilling game were to be sadly disappointed.
The visitors undoubtedly fancied their chances against a ninth-placed East Fife after they came from behind the previous Saturday to beat Peterhead three-one at the Glebe.
Alas, neither team covered themselves in glory during an uninspiring first half, although Brechin started out as the stronger team.
David McKenna had a shot at goal on ten minutes which was easily dealt with by the East Fife keeper Michael Brown.
The first of six yellow cards dished out by referee Kevin Clancy was awarded to the Fifers number ten Lloyd Young for a bad challenge on Craig Malloy.
At this point, Brechin looked like they might just edge ahead when Rory McAllister fired the ball wide of the post.
Shortly after, a Kevin Byers shot was deflected and nearly put into the back of the net by David McKenna.
East Fife came back in the 36th minute with a Jim Hamilton header into box which was fastened on to by Steven Hislop, whose shot was easily dealt with by Craig Nelson.
A good ball down the park from Kevin Byers was passed on to Craig Malloy whose strike was saved.
East Fife once again retaliated with a Bobby Linn strike from 30 yards which flew past the post.
The first half ended with neither side looking particularly threatening and fans hoping for something more exciting in the second period than the lovely interval steak pies of Methil, which proved the highlight of the opening half.
A foul on Dougie Hill in the 55th minute led to a free-kick and a wasted chance by Rory McAllister, whose shot was comfortably held by Michael Brown.
Dougie Hill went on to be red carded at the 63rd minute mark following a scuffle with East Fife’s Steven Hislop, who was only awarded a yellow card for his part in the incident.
A strange decision, as Hill was fouled, Brechin awarded a free-kick by the referee, yet the player on the end of the foul seemingly dismissed for retaliation.
In the 65th minute Daniel McKay came on for David McKenna who had been looking tired in the second half.
A ten-man Brechin had to fight to keep the Fifers from scoring, although it was possibly East Fife errors rather then good play from City that prevented them from taking the lead.
The fourth yellow card was dished out to Craig Malloy for what was a definite foul.
Steven Hislop was replaced by Ryan Wallace in the 74th minute and, shortly after, Craig Nelson was forced to make a save when Linn once again fired the ball towards the goal.
Neil Janczyk was replaced by Jamie Redman in the 82nd minute.
East Fife’s Craig Johnstone and Brechin’s Ewan Moyes were both shown yellow cards before Linn fired a free kick wide.
A foul on Craig Malloy landed Matthew Park with the final yellow card of the game.
Rory McAllister went close to scoring in the dying minutes of play.
He cut in from the left flank, past two defenders, but screwed his shot narrowly past the post.
Ewan Moyes’ header saw City produce their last opportunity to win the game, but the big Hibee loan player’s header was well saved by Brown.
East Fife - Michael Brown, Durie, McGowan, Ovenstone, Park, Linn, Muir, Young, Johnstone, Hamilton and Hislop (Wallace).
Brechin City - Nelson, Cook, McLauchlan, Moyes, Hill, Fusco, Janczyk (Redman), Molloy, Byers, McAllister and McKenna (McKay).
Referee - Kevin Clancy; crowd - 526.