Time for cool heads

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Brechin City 2, East Fife 3

BRECHIN City’s recent run of frustrating results continued last midweek when they lost by the odd goal in five at home to East Fife.

The reds side had an all too unfamiliar look to it last Tuesday evening, non more so than at the back, where midfield player, Gary Fusco was drafted in to play alongside Davie White in the heart of the back four.

Fusco gave a good account of himself in an unfamiliar position and wasn’t at fault for any three of the goals conceded by the City side, who have hit a slump at the worst possible stage of the season.

City’s play-off chances remain entirely within their own hand at this particular time, but it’s clearly evident that they must pick up points in their remaining league fixtures if they are to clinch a much coveted play-off spot.

City created the better of the goal-scoring chances in a first half against the Fifers.

First of all on-loan Aberdeen striker Mitch Megginson was denied in the 19th minute when he fired in a shot which Michael Brown in the East Fife goal did well to save.

Megginson almost scored the opener five minutes before half-time when Brown again did well to deny him.

David McKenna also had a decent chance and Jamie Redman forced his way into the box to make an attempt on goal, only to be blocked out by a massed defensive wall.

The visitors were always a threat in the last third of the field and, for the second time in the space of a few weeks, a youngster on-loan from the SPL took the eye with his sharpness in front of goal

Ryan Wallace, the Hearts youngster was the player in question.

However, it was the determination of one of Wallace’s team-mates that saw the visitors get their noses in front in the 51st minute when Dylan McGowan fired home a Lloyd Young corner.

City were level just a couple of minutes later when Jamie Redman fired home following a Neil Janczyk free-kick, the former Arbroath man managing to squeeze the ball under the goalkeeper.

This goal lifted City’s hearts and they grabbed the lead from the penalty-spot four minutes later when Craig Molloy converted after John Ovenstone had fouled Megginson.

The referee, having initially awarded a free-kick changed the decision to a penalty, after consultation with his linesman.

East Fife then squared the game from the spot in the 61st minute with Ryan Wallace sending Craig Nelson the wrong way after he had been fouled by Andrew Cook, despite the fact he was heading out of the penalty area at the time.

And young Wallace proved to be City’s nemesis once again, just as he had been in the game a couple of weeks previously.

His winning goal was worthy of taking the points in any fixture.

Craig Nelson could have perhaps expected more from some of those in front of him, having got a good hand to a cross ball which he managed to sent clear to the edge of the box. It was there that Wallace pounced to fire home a well-executed strike and take the points back to Methil.

A word of praise for Gary Fusco. He may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there are few occasions when this individual gives anything less than 100 per cent.

Asked to play in a different role from usual by his manager, he met the challenge head on, just as his team-mates must do in the final league fixtures of what has been a truly memorable season.

Brechin City - Nelson, McLean, Fusco, White, Cook (Kirkpatrick), Redman, Molloy, Janczyk, McBain (Byers), Megginson and McKenna (McKay).

East Fife - Michael Brown, Durie, Ovenstone, McGowan, Park, Linn (Johnstone), Young (Steven Campbell), McCulloch, Muir, Smart (Hislop) and Wallace.

Referee - Craig Charleston; crowd - 441.