Rain, mud, wind and misery for City

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There was no Christmas cheer for Brechin City as Darren Dods’ men returned pointless from their Boxing Day clash at rain-sodden Ayr.

Two goals conceded during a frenetic opening 13 minutes at Somerset Park were much for City to overcome as the Glebe Park side slumped back to the bottom of League One.

Going into the game on the back of a win and a draw, Dods made one enforced change to his starting line-up, bringing Euan Smith into midfield to replace James Dale.

With questions being asked about the condition of the playing surface following incessant rain, City kicked off and the game’s first chance fell to City striker Isaac Layne, who gathered possession in midfield and powered into the home box, blasting a shot into the side netting before a minute had elapsed.

With only four minutes on the clock an Ayr corner was not cleared sufficiently and the ball fell to ALAN FORREST whose low first-time strike found its way into the corner of the net.

A low Michael Donald effort brought a terrific low save from ‘Buzz’. Frustratingly for City, in the resultant melee, the ball was knocked high into the air and fell kindly for CRAIG MOORE who nudged it home from close range when the game wasn’t a quarter of an hour old.

City worked hard to regain a foothold, with much of the threat emanating from lively striker Isaac Layne. Firstly, a low driven cross had no takers, before he forced a double save from Greg Fleming in the home goal. Andy Jackson then won a header to set up a shooting chance for Layne, who shot narrowly over.

In a scramble Layne had two further efforts, the first of which rebounded off the crossbar and his second blocked.

Half-time: Ayr 2, Brechin 0.

The home side had early chances to put the game beyond City’s reach. Former City favourite Alan Trouten found himself in splendid isolation on the Ayr right and, having rounded ‘Buzz’, saw his shot blocked on the goal-line by a combination of Willie Dyer and Paul McLean.

City striker Dene Shields then came close on two occasions. Firstly, a powerful downward header from a City corner forced keeper Fleming into an exquisite save as he diverted the ball up and over. Moments later he created his own opportunity latching on to a through ball with a powerful surge and a blast at goal which only just cleared the home crossbar.

City got on the scoresheet a minute into injury time, when late substitute ROBERT THOMSON forced the ball over the line after a number of attempts were blocked in a quite ridiculous goalmouth scramble preceded by a low cross from City’s left by Dene Shields

Darren Dods’ hard working team left the field with nothing to show for their efforts - amidst cheers ringing out from the delighted home support.