Hopes dented

Paul McManus slots the ball home to open the scoring for Brechin.
Paul McManus slots the ball home to open the scoring for Brechin.

Brechin City 2, Dumbarton 2

Brechin CITY have lost some ground in their bid to secure a place in the promotion play-offs, having picked up just the one point from a possible six at home in the course of the past week.

Paul McManus and Rory McKenzie celebrate the opening goal in front of the Brechin fans.

Paul McManus and Rory McKenzie celebrate the opening goal in front of the Brechin fans.

The results leave the reds slightly off the pace in the bid to claim a top four slot.

At the time of going to press on Tuesday (yesterday), City were preparing to head for East Fife in the last of the midweek rescheduled matches to be played that same evening.

By the time they are reading this the fans will know how they fared at Methil, with next up being a derby trip to take on a Forfar Athletic side now deep in the battle to avoid the drop to the Scottish third division.

City will be kicking themselves for allowing a two-goal interval lead to slip at home to Dumbarton on Saturday, that result coming hard on the heels of a three-one midweek home defeat at the hands of Stirling Albion (see page 23).

Boss Jim Weir was left shaking his head at the final whistle.

“We were two-nil up at home and had a good chance to make it three.

“However, towards the end of the game we lost control. We are losing too many second halves at the moment.

“Dumbarton took the game by the scruff of the neck and should have won it in the end.”

City went into the game without the suspended Scott Buist, while also sidelined were the injured Paul McLean and David McClune.

Several City players were injury doubts for the game, but Ewan Moyes and Jim Lister made the starting 11 and Charlie King and Gerry McLauchlan were fit enough for places on the bench.

Dumbarton went close with just two minutes on the watch. Prunty fired in a volley and Craig Nelson made an instinctive save to tip the ball over the bar.

City had their first chance in nine minutes. McManus put McKenzie away on the right and from his cross, Molloy had a header saved by Grindlay.

A minute later, left-back Creaney was denied by Nelson and from the rebound, Lamont had a shot blocked on the line by Dunlop.

Hodge cut in from the left and shot over, then Brechin had a great chance in 28 minutes.

A Hodge corner was headed down by Moyes but Dunlop took too long to get his shot in and his effort was blocked.

Brechin broke the deadlock on the half hour mark. Jonny Lindsay swung in a cross from the left and Paul McManus volleyed home on the back post.

The home side made it two just three minutes later.

A Brady free-kick was won in the air by Moyes and Rory McKenzie scored with a stunning overhead-kick which left Grindlay helpless.

Brechin held on comfortably to their two-goal advantage until half-time and in 45 minutes, McManus sliced wide from a Lister head down.

Brechin needed to make a good start to the second half and they thought they had done that in 54 minutes. A long free-kick from Dunlop was headed on by Lister for McManus to score, but the linesman’s flag was up for offside.

Ironically, if the on-rushing Molloy had been the player to put the ball into the net the goal would have stood.

Dumbarton gave themselves some hope with a goal two minutes later. Lindsay pulled Prunty back by the arm inside the box and Prunty drove home the resulting penalty-kick.

McKenzie was a threat for Brechin down the right and in 62 minutes, the on-loan Kilmarnock kid took on his opponent and fired a shot just over the bar.

Five minutes later, a drive from Nicoll was saved at the base of his post by Nelson.

In 72 minutes, Fusco was booked for a foul on Lamont 25 yards from goal. Scott Agnew scored direct from a free-kick the last time Dumbarton visited Glebe Park and almost inevitably he did it again when he sent the ball curling well out of reach of the diving Nelson.

Prunty shot wide from a Gilhaney cross, then in 77 minutes, David McKenna replaced McManus who had put in a tremendous shift up front.

In 84 minutes, a Gilhaney shot was saved by Nelson, then a minute later, Creaney was booked for a foul on McKenna.

Only one side looked like finding a winning goal and it wasn’t the team playing at home.

Three minutes from time, Angew tried a shot from long range which swerved all over the place and was just kept out by Nelson. The ball broke back to Prunty and with the Dumbarton support acclaiming a goal, he put his shot wide.

In stoppage-time, Gilhaney became the second Dumbarton booking for remarks to the referee.

Brechin City - Nelson, Fusco, Lindsay, Dunlop, Moyes, Brady, McKenzie, Molloy, Lister, McManus (McKenna) and Hodge.