REPORT: Brechin City strengthen hold on third with battling win over Alloa Athletic

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Brechin City recorded a fine 2-1 victory away to fellow promotion contenders Alloa Athletic as they kept the pressure on at the top of the League One table.

Goals from Alan Trouten and Ally Love, either side of a Jordan Kirkpatrick equaliser, gave City a vital three points in their hunt for promotion and ensured they will end the year in the top three in League One.

The home side had a lucky escape inside the opening minute when Trouten latched onto Connor McLennan’s flick-on and fired the ball beyond Neil Parry, only to see the goal ruled out thanks to the linesman’s flag.

Brechin were dealt a blow just before the half-hour mark when Euan Smith went down with nobody near him. He was replaced by Gareth Rodger, and manager Darren Dods later confirmed that the defender suffered a potentially serious knee injury.

Alloa were enjoying the majority of the play but were doing nothing with all their possession, and the visitors would make them pay five minutes before the half-time interval.

Parry couldn’t hold Trouten’s shot, and as he attempted to gather, Love tried to get to the rebound. It looked like the keeper had got to the ball first but Love was sent flying by the collision, and the referee awarded a spot-kick.

Trouten stepped up and converted, giving the visitors the advantage as the teams headed back to the dressing rooms.

Then after half-time, Scott Taggart swung in a terrific cross - Greig Spence flicked the ball on towards the back post, and Kirkpatrick arrived to lash it home and level the scores.

It was no more than the home side deserved as they had dominated up to that point, but they would not be level for long.

Parry and Jason Marr dithered over a seemingly harmless long ball, and Love nipped in to snatch possession and score what is likely to be the easiest goal of his career.

Alloa had one final chance to find an equaliser, with Flannigan attempting a spectacular overhead kick, but the ball sailed only a couple of inches over the bar.

That was the last real chance of the game, and Brechin held on to record a vital victory in their hunt for promotion, while Alloa saw their hopes dealt another blow.