REPORT: Brechin City lose out to Stranraer

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Scottish League One

Goals from Stirling and Gibson gave the Blues a 10 point gap over the Glebe Park men.

It was always going to be a tough ask for City with Stranraer having won three out of their previous four games.

Brechin came into the game with the knowledge that a win would lift them above Forfar at the bottom of the table, while also sucking Stranraer back into the relegation mix.

A bright opening half hour saw the visitors edge things on general play and create a couple of decent chances with some slick play between Willie Dyer and Andy Jackson that allowed Jackson to turn Scott Rumsby before firing wide from the edge of the box.

David Weatherston had an effort ruled out for offside and also had another shot from the corner of the penalty area that flew a couple of yards wide but as is often the case when a side is down on their luck, these misses can prove costly and eventually Stranraer forced themselves back into the game.

Jamie Longworth flicked the ball across goal at the other end with no takers and then the impressive Andy Stirling breezed past three Brechin defenders before his driven cross was palmed away by Graeme Smith and neither Craig Malcolm nor Longworth could take advantage.

The hosts piled on the pressure and from a corner Steven Bell pounced but Darren Dods threw himself in the way to deflect the ball behind, but the deadlock was soon broken.

Willie Gibson exchanged passes with Malcolm on the left and fired an effort towards goal which Smith did well to get a hand to, but could only direct the ball to Stirling who turned the ball home.

The second half saw roles reversed with Stranraer looking the more assured side and finding that playing into the wind was easier than the conditions that Brechin now had to master.

Stirling tested Smith before Paul Cairney had a crack from distance that Dods threw himself in front of to block the midfielder’s shot.

Stranraer may have had a penalty with 68 minutes on the clock.

Longworth’s shot from outside the box looped up in the air and looked destined for the hands of Smith but Stirling nipped in front of the goalkeeper and tried to take the ball round him before falling to the turf when it looked like contact had been made.

The game was wrapped up when Dods was punished for a high foot on substitute Ryan Thomson and Gibson stepped up to curl home a tremendous free-kick from all of 25 yards.

Brechin were due to face Stenhousemuir at Ochilview last night (Tuesday) before going to Albion Rovers on Saturday.