Brechin’s first local derby of the season ended in a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Forfar Athletic at Station Park, writes John Hoey.
Although the Loons had the bulk of possession and pressure over the course of the 90 minutes, the City players can feel justifiably aggrieved that they failed to take anything from what was a hard and competitive encounter.
The team had more than reasonable claims for a penalty after only eight minutes turned down by referee Frank McDermott when Craig Molloy appeared to be upended in the Forfar box and the official also refused to allow what City players claimed was a perfectly good goal after a Scott Dalziel header appeared to cross the line after 24 minutes.
To compound matters, City had a couple of players injured, Molloy and youngster Ryan Stewart, after hefty challenges which the referee failed to address and three players booked, Gerry McLauchlan, Alan Trouten and Ewan Moyes.
Manager Jim Weir was clearly less than happy with the referee’s performance. He said: “There were some key moments in the game which didn’t go our way today. We certainly didn’t get our fair share of the decisions and all we’re looking for is consistency and to make sure players are protected.”
“Having said that, I congratulate Forfar on their win. They have always been a hard team for me personally to get results against although our players can take positives from their performance which I hope they’ll take into our next game.”
The swirling wind made conditions difficult for both sides but the Loons scored what proved to be the winner in the 22nd minute.
Gavin Swankie played a short pass through to former City midfielder Martyn Fotheringham who forced his way into the Brechin box before unleashing a tremendous left-foot drive which soared into the roof of the net.
City thought that they’d equalised just a couple of minutes later when a Dalziel header appeared to go over the line, but Loons defender Steven Tulloch booted the ball clear and despite strong claims from City that the ball had crossed the line, the referee would have none of it.
In the second half, Alan Trouten should have done better when he forced his way into the Forfar penalty-box only to steer the ball wide of the target and with just two minutes remaining a wonderful volley from Andy Jackson from a Johnny Brown cross was superbly saved by Loons’ ‘keeper Derek Soutar.