Brechin City 3 Stenhousemuir 1
BRECHIN City introduced a performance on Saturday that was very much the “game of two halves”.
In the first Stenhousemuir, coming off the back of two impressive victories, kept Brechin pressed back and the turning point came shortly before half-time, when Rory McAllister netted an all-important equalier and from there on in, his side never really looked back.
Neil Janczyk returned to the starting line-up, replacing the suspended Craig Molloy.
Janczy’s role in the game was a starring one, with two assists and a goal giving him an excellent return.
The Warriors enjoyed by far the better start to the game and showed their intentions after just a couple of minutes, Alex Williams fired over following a free-kick from Dickson.
The visitors took the lead in the eighth minute. Ian Thompson’s inswinging corner had City in a flap at the near post and Scott Dalziel poked the ball home at the second attempt.
Brechin’s first attempt on goal saw Gary Fusco head wide from Neil Janczyk’s free-kick.
The Brechin skipper was prominent again when, after Fusco was brought down 30 yards from goal, he stepped up to curl an excellent free-kick around the wall, away from the goalkeeper, but just the wrong side of the upright for Brechin.
Craig Nelson denied Grant Anderson, who managed to fire in a low drive from 15 yards.
Brechin looked to have got back in the game through some excellent twin striker play. However, Rory McAllister’s well-weighted pass found Davie McKenna in an offside position.
Anderson was giving City left-back Cook a tough test and the winger’s half-volley almost increased his side’s lead.
However, Craig Nelson stuck out a vital hand to turn the ball over the bar.
Two minutes from half-time, Neil Janczyk crafted an exquisite pass that set up Rory McAllister for City’s leveller. “Janny” threaded a lovely through ball was his left foot and McAllister steadied himself before picking his spot beyond the goalkeeper.
Stenhousemuir were shaken by the leveller, but they still came out fighting in the second half.
However, they were met by a different looking City proposition.
Eric Paton gave the home side another scare from a corner, the ball being clawed the ball away from under the bar.
It was then the turn of Stenhousemuir goalkeeper Ally Brown to keep the stalemate intact.
He pushed away Kevin Byers’ well-struck drive for a corner, after the City man found space on the 18-yard line.
In 55 minutes Brechin got their noses in front from a well-worked corner.
McKenna’s drive was blocked by Dickson and resulted in a corner. Janczyk zipped the ball to the edge of the six-yard box where Jamie Redman bulleted home a great header.
Byers was back on the attack soon after his side got their noses in front, but this time fired over the bar from 25 yards out.
On the hour mark Stenhousemuir manager Davie Irons replaced Grant Anderson with Andy Stirling.
Kevin Byers had become more and more prominent in the game and he was denied one again by a fine save from Brown, the goalkeeper getting down to block the midfielder’s low drive at his near post.
In the 74th minute on-loan Don Mitchell Megginson was handed his City debut when he replaced David McKenna.
The Warriors made another change with Simon Lynch coming on for Alex Williams.
Sterling work from Rory McAllister won city a corner. The ball eventually dropped to Ewan Moyes, but he fired wide.
Stenhousemuir’s wee winger Stevie Murray then carved out an opening with a cross to the far post, but Scott Dalziel headed well wide of the target.
In the 82nd minute, City netted the all-important third goal and it had a real touch of class about it.
McAllister was hauled down by Jordan Smith 25 yards from goal. He and Janczyk lined up the free-kick. However, it was the Brechin skipper who stepped up to curl an excellent free-kick into Brown’s bottom right-hand corner.
A minute later Kevin Byers was replaced by Jordan Kirkpatrick.
City continued to dominate in the closing stages and might have added another couple of goals to their tally.
First of all Megginson did well to spring the offside trap with a well weighted pass to find Janczyk. The Brechin captain might have been better having an attempt on goal himself, but he unselfishly crossed to McAllister beyond the far post, who slid in to meet the ball, but could only find the side netting.
With three minutes left, Ian Thompson became the game’s first booking when he scythed down Jordan Kirkpatrick who had sped past him.
He was followed into the book by Gary Fusco for a challenge on Andy Stirling.
Murray sent in another tantalising cross from the free-kick which Thompson won in the air, but Craig Nelson somehow managed to scoop the ball out from the danger araea.
Right on the final whistle, Rory McAllister looked odds on to score his second and Brechin’s fourth after he side-stepped his marker twice inside the box, only to be denied by a last-gasp challenge.
Brechin improved dramatically in the second period, after a ropey first half. Ewan Moyes was one of the unsung heroes of the team and the pick of the back four. Janczyk shone in the second period in the middle and McAllister did likewise in the attack.
Brechin City - Nelson, McLean, Cook, McLauchlan, Moyes, Janczyk, Redman, Fusco, McAllister, McKenna (Megginson) and Byers (Kirkpatrick).
Stenhousemuir - Brown, Lyle, Dickson, Fusco, Smith, Iain Thomson, Anderson (Stirling), Dalziel, Williams (Lynch), Paton and Murray.
Referee, Stephen Finnie.