Red card hinders hopes of fightback

Robert Thomson and Grant Gallagher challenge for control of the ball.

Robert Thomson and Grant Gallagher challenge for control of the ball.

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It was a tough day for Brechin City as they fell to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of a strong Stranraer side.

Stranraer’s Martin Grehan opened the scoring on 26 minutes from close range after Brechin were caught on the counter attack by an impressive run from winger Andy Stirling.

Things went from bad to worse eight minutes later as Brechin conceded a penalty.

Stirling was brought down in the box by Paul McLean, who received a yellow card for the challenge.

Grehan stepped up to the spot and sent Graeme Smith the wrong way, coolly slotting home his second goal of the afternoon.

Grehan made it a half to forget for City when he completed his hat-trick on 40 minutes.

A miss-hit by Robert Thomson in Stranraer’s half led to a swift attack by The Blues, and saw Grant Gallagher lay it up for Grehan who smashed home into the top corner for 3-0.

Brechin made two substitutions at half time, bringing on Craig Molloy and Jonny Brown to replace Ryan Ferguson and Darren Petrie.

City started the second half with a higher intensity, greater width and more intent as they tried to claw back the deficit, and on 58 minutes they were rewarded by a goal for Andy Jackson.

He was found in the box after an accurate pass from Thomson, and Jackson didn’t have to be told twice where the goal was, firing home with ease.

However, any chances of a comeback were thwarted minutes later after a hard tackle on Stirling led to a second yellow card for City’s McLean, who was shown his marching orders.

From that point on, Brechin struggled to mount attacks on The Blues and they only avoided conceding again thanks to a spectacular double save from Smith, who showed great reflexes to prevent a fourth goal for Grehan.

Ten-man City held firm to prevent any further damage, but could do nothing to stop Stranraer from leaving Glebe Park with a deserved three points.