City too slick for the Highlands top team

Paul McManus slots home Brechin's third past Kevin Main. (Picture by Derek Watt).
Paul McManus slots home Brechin's third past Kevin Main. (Picture by Derek Watt).

BRECHIN City continued their pre-season build up, with a comfortable four-nil win over Buckie Thistle at Victoria Park on Saturday.

This was Buckie’s first game since clinching the Highland League Championship against Deverondale.

City outclassed the Highland League side throughout the game, with Neil Janczyk, Graham Weir, Paul McManus and trialist Brian Fairbrain netting.

It was Buckie who had the first real opportunity of the game, when Craig MacMillan volleyed over a Paul Napier cross in the fourth minute, from inside the box.

Three minutes later, Janczyk opened the scoring with a well-worked goal.

Fusco received the ball from Brady on the right, and crossed into the box.

Weir dummied the ball and Janczyk shot at goal but the effort was blocked. The rebound fell kindly for Jancyzk and the former Hearts man fired the ball home.

Brechin were passing the ball about well, and four minutes later they increased their lead.

The Buckie defence were trying to clear their lines but the ball fell to Weir on the edge of the box and he drove the ball past Main.

Buckie almost pulled a goal back in the 19th minute, when a Shaun Scott header went just over the crossbar.

Brechin made it three before half-time however, when Weir ran down the left and cut the ball back from the bye-line to McManus, who shot home from a few yards out.

Weir almost set another goal up five minutes later, after a similar ball in from the left found Fusco on the volley, but the Buckie defence managed to block his shot.

Brechin were almost four up before half time, when a corner kick swung in and hit the post, but the ball bounced back out and was cleared by the Buckie defence.

At half-time Brechin brought on Craig Nelson, Charlie King and Brian Fairbrain, to replace David Scott, Graham Weir and Garry Brady.

MacMillan again had a chance for Buckie in the 55th minute, but his header, from a Darren Wood cross, went past the post.

Substitute King then came close with a header for Brechin a few minutes later but Main saved his effort well.

King then set up Fusco in one of the best moves of the match, but the midfielder’s shot was disappointing as he fired well wide of the target.

Brechin netted their fourth a few minutes later, however, with good link up play between Fairbrain and King ending with Fairbrain netting with a powerful drive which left Main with no chance.

Brechin were attacking the Highlanders well, and Molloy came close with a shot which hit the crossbar from the edge of the box in the 70th minute.

Nelson then bailed Brechin out with a remarkable save in the 77th minute, stopping a shot from Robbie Brown, who was clean through on goal.

Fairbrain then had a chance to score his second and Brechin’s fifth in the 82nd minute, but his drive went just past the post, in what was the last clear chance of the game.

Brechin City: Scott (Nelson), McClune, Dunlop, Mclean, Buist, Brady (Fairbrain), Fusco, Molloy McManus, Weir (King) and Jancyzk. Subs not used: McLauchlan and Potter.

Buckie Thistle: Main, Duncan, Shewan, MacRae (Brown), Wood (Mackinnon), Morrison, Napier, Stewart (Sutherland), MacMillan, Scott and Clark. Subs not used: Low and Gardiner.

Reflecting how the pre-season plans are coming together, manager Jim Weir said things had been affected to an extent by injuries.

“Jim Lister needing a hernia operation is a blow, which we didn’t expect,” said the manager.

“He’s our height and gives us something different. We’ve had one or two knocks here and there too.

“In terms of the games I’ve been happy with the work rate. The first two results could have gone a bit better, but in general I’m happy with the progress we’ve been making.

“Brian Fairbrain is a player I have known a long time and he plays in a position that we’re looking to try and fill.

“I spoke to his agent and told him we’d have a look at him over the next two or three games, That’s the plan and then we’ll make a decision on him.

“We’re still trying to add one to the squad at the minute; two at a push, but one is probably the realistic number of personnel that will be added.

“And then hopefully we won’t pick up too many more knocks before the start of the new season.

“Charlie King picked up an injury prior to the Aberdeen game which was a blow to him, but he’s recovered quite well and I’ve been really surprised at the impact he’s made in both games.

“Obviously I’m pleased with that, because he is part of the ‘A team’ that we would hope to build, so if Charlie isn’t right, it cuts the numbers down.

“And with Jim Lister down it leaves us really, really short, so I’m very pleased with how he’s looked in the last two outings.”

At the time of going to press on Tuesday (yesterday) Brechin City were preparing to face Kilmarnock at Glebe Park that same evening.

This will be their second-last friendly before they meet Falkirk in the first round of the Ramsdens Cup on July 23.