REPORT: Brechin City avoid automatic relegation with win over Stranraer

Photo by Derek Watt

Photo by Derek Watt

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Brechin City avoided automatic relegation from League One with a hard fought but deserved victory over promotion hopefuls Stranraer at Glebe Park.

A Jamie Robson goal 10 minutes from the end proved enough to secure three vital points for the home team.

City can confirm their League One status for next season if they win at Station Park next Saturday against already doomed Angus neighbours Forfar Athletic, although three points may not be necessary depending on what happens elsewhere.

The result moves City up to eighth place in the table on the same points level as Cowdenbeath, who face a difficult away trip to Stranraer, and just a point behind Stenhousemuir, who face a tricky match against Albion Rovers who still harbour hopes of a promotion play-off place, with City having a vastly superior goal difference over both the Blue Brazil and the Warriors.

The opening 45 minutes saw Brian Reid’s men with the majority of territorial advantage and possession but City had the better of goal-scoring opportunities.

The visitors started well and Paul McLean had to clear a Mark McGuigan shot off the line after just four minutes but City hit back and a Robert Thomson drive eight minutes later was just wide of the post.

A great City move between Liam Watt and Robson saw the Dundee United loanee deliver a dangerous cross into the visitors penalty-box which was headed clear with Thomson ready to pounce.

On the half-hour mark, Watt collected a pass from Robson and pushed forward before releasing Andy Jackson whose shot was blocked by Cameron Bedford in the Stranraer goal.

City started the second-half in determined fashion and within the first five minutes Watt proved what a superb loan capture he has been when he picked up the ball midway in the Blues half and forced his way forward, before firing in a blistering shot which was just inches past Bedford’s left-hand post.

As the half wore on it was City who were enjoying the lion’s share of pressure and possession and they came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock in the 70th minute when a great cross-field pass from Willie Dyer found Robson who blasted the ball towards the corner of the net but Bedford brought off a tremendous save to tip the ball away.

However, the youngster had better luck 10 minutes later when he scored his first goal for the club and what an important goal it proved to be.

Dyer swung over a pin-point free-kick into the box which fell nicely for Robson and he tucked a low drive well beyond the reach of Bedford into the bottom corner of the net.