Brechin City’s dismal start to the season continued on Saturday, returning from Stranraer winless and pointless following a 1-0 defeat – a result which sees City remain anchored to the bottom of League One.
City welcomed back Graeme Smith in goal and summer signing David Weatherston made his first competitive start for City.
Frustratingly – and not for the first time – boss Darren Dods was forced into a last minute change to his starting line up, when Ross Perry pulled up in the warm-up.
This left the player-boss with little alternative other than slotting himself into a central defensive role.
The first half hour saw little in the way of goalmouth excitement, with several long range efforts from the home side failing to trouble the City keeper.
At the other end Weatherston had a sight of goal when a through ball landed nicely for him, but his blast at goal was only just over the top right corner.
Central defender Darren McCormack earned the game’s first caution for a not-too-subtle attempt to stave off a threat down Stranraer’s left wing, before City survived a handball claim amidst a series of home corners.
In the last meaningful attempt of the half, defender Keenan sent a bending right foot shot beyond City keeper Smith, only to see it rebound off the face of the crossbar.
The second half opened with a caution for City full-back Jonathon Tiffoney at the start of a period of play which saw the home side dominate.
Their pressure was finally rewarded with a goal after 51 minutes.
Home striker Jamie Longworth out-muscled McCormack to gather possession of a through ball, and he turned inside McCormack again as City’s number four tried to recover – and gleefully thumped the ball past Smith for what would ultimately be the game’s only goal.
It took a series of inspirational saves from ‘Buzz’ in the City goal to keep the deficit down to one and keep City in the game.
He parried wide a stinging drive from Longworth, tipped a vicious dipping cross over the bar, and raced from his goal to block a one-on-one with Chris Aitken – before looking on helplessly as a low angled drive from Longworth went narrowly wide.
The game dipped slightly for a time with a series of substitutions, and a yellow card for skipper Craig Molloy.
As City pushed for an equaliser, front-man Andy Jackson was foiled by the advancing home keeper McGurn and the onrushing Gary Fusco only just failed to keep his follow-up attempt on target.
Fusco had the only other notable effort of the game – only to see his powerful low 20-yard effort go agonisingly wide.
As a subdued and disappointed City side left the field, everyone associated with City were doubtless left hoping that the upcoming clash against county rivals Forfar Athletic would be the catalyst to the type of performance required to get points on the board, instil some confidence and start climbing the league table.