Report: Brechin City downed in Stranraer

Andy Jackson has a shot on goal. Pic by Derek Watt.
Andy Jackson has a shot on goal. Pic by Derek Watt.

Brechin City's poor form showed no signs of ending as they lost 2-0 to Stranraer on Saturday.

The visitors started brightly earning a corner from which Dougie Hill headed the ball into the net but was adjudged to have fouled the blues defender in the process.

Stranraer had a good chance of their own from their first corner but Scott Robertson couldn't keep the ball down and Craig Malcolm headed just over minutes later from a Willie Gibson free kick as the home side gained a foothold on the game.

An open game then delivered its opening goal when a good break by Stranraer saw Willie Gibson take possession and from fully 25 yards, he unleashed an unstoppable shot which, with the aid of a slight deflection, gave Graeme Smith absolutely no chance.

Stranraer were well on top and Robertson should have hit the target from a corner but City managed to counter and a dangerous cross from Chris O'Neil called for David Barron to intervene to clear before Andy Jackson could pounce in the penalty area.

Brechin had a great break and when Morgyn Neill scythed Paul McLean to the deck, Jackson was bursting clear but the referee inexplicably failed to allow the advantage and blew for a foul, booking the home defender but allowing the home defence to reassemble and clear the danger.

Brechin finished the half strongly and finally tested the gloves of Cameron Belford with Finn Graham's dipping volley, well struck but too close to the keeper to cause him any problem.

The visitors came agonisingly close to an equaliser six minutes into the second half.

A cross from O'Neil was controlled and hooked goalwards by Ally Love.

With Neill and Belford appearing to get in each other's way as the keeper partially blocked it, the ball fell to Jackson from point blank range but he was brilliantly denied by Belford getting himself in the way to block the effort at the expense of a corner.

The game became scrappy for a period with neither side able to find that moment of quality to unlock the others defence but this appeared to suit Stranraer.

City always looked that they might fashion a chance and grab an equaliser but the Stranraer defence have become much meaner under their new management and continued to hold firm.

It was Smith who was next in action, beating away a Robertson drive as Stranraer surged forward chasing that elusive second.

The resurgent Blues eventually did score again with 12minutes left.

A superb Gibson free kick was so inviting for Craig Malcolm to rise highest and head home a landmark 100th goal for the club.

City continued to battle and earned a free kick which Watt fired in at goal but fine handling under pressure by Belford kept it out and Jackson did have the ball in the net from an offside position, all of which rather summed up the afternoon for the Glebe Parkers.

It was the home side though who should have made it three in the dying minutes with Scott Agnew sent clear by a delightful Amadou Kassarate layoff but the city defence managed to scramble the ball away and the game concluded with both sides continuing their current form - Stranraer improving but for City it's another 2017 weekend gone by without a victory.