Brechin 2 Stenhousemuir 0
BRECHIN City got their league campaign off to a winning start, when they saw off a Stenhousemuir side who have been tipped by many to do well this season.
After defeats in two cup competitions, Jim Weir’s side were keen to make amends and second half goals from David McKenna and Paul McManus were enough to give them the points.
Brechin were a much changed side from that which lost in the play-off final to Ayr United just under three months ago, with eight new signings in the 16 stripped for duty on Saturday.
Scott Buist was in central defence with Mick Dunlop at left-back. Garry Brady lined up on the right of midfield, with Paul McManus and Graham Weir paired up front.
Three more new faces, David McClune, Derek Carcary and Jim Lister were on the bench.
Stenhousemuir had the first chance in six minutes when a header from Brown Ferguson was easy for Craig Nelson.
Brechin almost got the start they were looking for a minute later. Brady got to the byeline and his cross to the back post was headed against the bar by McManus.
Disaster almost struck City in 11 minutes when a slack pass from McKenna gave the ball to Kean. Nelson raced off his line to tackle Kean with his feet, then when play continued, the City keeper did well to recover his ground and save a drive from Murray.
In 15 minutes, Paul McLean burst forward to the edge of the box and shot wide, then four minutes later, McManus got away on the left and from his cross, McKenna got in a powerful header which was parried by former City keeper, Chris McCluskey.
In 37 minutes, a Thomson shot was blocked for a corner by Buist. From the corner, a near post header from Kean was tipped over by Nelson.
Brechin had just about shaded the first half and they started the second looking for that elusive goal. Brady put Craig Molloy in and his shot was blocked, then a snapshot from McKenna went wide of the target.
City should have been in front with 58 minutes played. Molloy did well to get the ball across the face of goal and McManus somehow screwed his shot wide on the far post.
Two minutes later, a curling effort from the impressive Brady just cleared the crossbar.
Brechin kept probing and a Molloy shot was charged down by Dickson. Play continued and McLean somehow found himself deep inside the Stenhousemuir box. He laid the ball back to Molly and his low drive was deflected over the bar by the legs of McCluskey.
Derek Carcary was sent on for Weir in 66 minutes and immediately looked lively.
A pass from McKenna put the pacy Carcary in but he just over-ran the ball and McCluskey was able to kick clear.
Brechin finally broke the deadlock in 71 minutes. Molloy did well to win the ball and played it wide to McKenna who cut in from the left and sent a glorious right-foot drive high past McCluskey.
Stenhousemuir began to lose their cool and Kean and McCluskey were both yellow-carded for dissent, then manager Davie Irons was given a lecture by the referee.
In 79 minutes, Molloy smacked a shot wide from long range as City looked for more.
Brechin made the points secure with a second goal nine minutes from time. Caracary raced away on the left, survived an attempt by McMillan to foul him and fired in a shot which was parried by McCluskey, leaving McManus with an empty net to score his first goal for the club.
McMillan was booked for his challenge before play resumed.
Carcary showed his skill again on the left and his cross was hacked clear by a defender.
As City coasted to victory, they gave their goalscorers a chance to be applauded off by the fans.
Charlie King replaced McKenna in 83 minutes and Lister replaced McManus in 87.
Brechin City - Nelson, McLean, Dunlop, McLauchlan, Buist, Janczyk, Brady, Molloy, McManus (Lister), Weir (Carcary) and McKenna (King)