Thomson strikes to give City deserved Dees win

Derek Watt Photography.
Derek Watt Photography.

Robert Thomson’s second half strike gave Brechin City a deserved 1-0 victory over Premiership side Dundee on Saturday.

The one-goal victory gives Darren Dods a winning finish to pre-season ahead of this Saturday’s Petrofac Training Cup game against Peterhead at Glebe Park.

It was a promising display from Brechin who, from back to front, more than equalled their top-flight opponents.

Graeme Smith was excellent in goals, Dods and Darren McCormack were solid in the heart of defence, Gary Fusco’s steel combined well with James Dale’s energy in midfield and Dene Shields, Andy Jackson and Robert Thomson looked dangerous for the whole outing.

It was the visitors who had the first chance of the game after four minutes when a tidy exchange between Gary Harkins and James McPake saw the latter send a blistering effort from 25 yards just over.

City’s summer recruit Shields took a sore one when he swung a boot at the ball outside the box but an interception saw him striking thin air, and he appeared to twist his knee on the way down - but he was up and moving without difficulty soon enough.

Paul McGowan stretched the Brechin backline inside a quarter of an hour when he drifted in from the left flank, bringing the ball across the 18 yard line before slipping a weak shot through that Smith easily collected.

Kostadin Gadzhalov was taken off with a shoulder injury after 20 minutes following a collision at a City corner, and he was replaced by Julen Extabeguren.

Brechin’s forwards then combined very well at a free kick as Jackson chested the ball into the path of Shields but his volley was screwed just over the bar.

Thomson then dragged an effort wide from out on the right flank after he was played in by a Fusco pass; the game was beginning to open up with both sides getting forward with a bit more incision.

The City players cried for handball when Shields saw his effort blocked by the hand of Extabeguren but the referee felt it wasn’t intentional.

Smith made the save of the game from Greg Stewart just before the interval, the striker turning inside the box and lashing an effort right for the top corner, but the Brechin stopper made a terrific block for a corner.

Paul Hartley made five changes at the break as he moved to a narrow diamond in midfield, Stewart in behind Loy and sub Kane Hemmings, and the tighter pack was much more effective in strangling Brechin’s attacking intent.

Rory Loy should have had the Dee ahead after 54 minutes but he couldn’t connect with a fierce cross whipped in by Nick Ross.

Great battling play from a trialist substitute robbed Dundee of the ball and fed Shields on the left, he cut inside and fired a shot curling for the top right corner but it was well over the bar.

Fusco, sublime in the middle of the park in a defensive role, denied sub Kane Hemmings when the striker’s close range effort evaded the goalie but Fusco was able to clear the shot off the line.

Trialist then fed Thomson from a deep free kick, the forward sent a snap effort at David Mitchell’s goal but it was inches wide.

Thomson put Brechin ahead on 71 minutes, lashing the ball home from close range and into the roof of the net with Mitchell getting a hand to it on its way past.