Brechin City 2-2 Livingston

Livi threw away a two-goal lead as Brechin hit back to claim a share of the spoils on a frustrating afternoon at Glebe Park.

First-half goals from Dylan Mackin and Scott Pittman had put the Lions in control until a mad seven-minute spell around the hour mark allowed their fellow Championship new-boys to battle back and rescue a point.

David Hopkin made three changes following the marathon Betfred Cup win at Falkirk as Raffaele De Vita, Jackson Longridge and Mackin came in for Nicky Cadden, Scott Robinson and Keaghan Jacobs.

Mackin had the first chance for the Lions inside two minutes as he created space at the edge of the box before firing in a powerful shot that fizzed just over the crossbar. Longridge then did well to force a corner, although he wasn’t far away from finding the net – unfortunately the corner came to nothing.

Brechin came close for the first time on 11 minutes when Alexander made a fine save from a shot after a corner before Livi broke up the other end and won a corner of their own. Craig Halkett got on the end of Josh Mullin’s cross but his head flew over. A goalmouth scramble then saw the ball drop to Mackin 12 yards out but he was eventually crowded out and the home side were able to clear.

The big striker came even closer to breaking the deadlock on 23 minutes when he swivelled into space inside the box and fired in a low shot that beat Graeme Smith but Willie Dyer was in position to hack the ball off the line. He wasn’t to be denied, though, as Livi made the breakthrough two minutes later. A corner dropped to Mackin in the box and he fired in a low shot under Smith into the net.

It was nearly 2-0 a minute later as Danny Mullen got in behind and he fired in a low shot from the angle of the box that trundled across the face of goal and inches wide of the far post.

Brechin then enjoyed a rare venture forward on 36 minutes and Kalvin Orsi tried his luck from just inside the box but Alexander saved comfortably.

The Lions doubled their lead a minute before the break as Longridge gathered the ball on the left hand side and fired in a low cross that was met by Pittman who swept a low finish past Smith at his near post from six yards to send the Lions in at the interval in command.

Half-time: Brechin City 0-2 Livingston

Livi made a bright start to the second half and came close to extending their lead three minutes after the restart when the ball broke to the edge of the box and De Vita steadied himself to fire a fine volley that whistled inches wide of Smith’s right-hand post.

Finn Graham picked up the game’s first yellow card for a trip on Mackin before the home side pulled a goal back on 55 minutes when Orsi skipped away from Lithgow and fired a powerful effort past Alexander from outside the area. Livi pushed forward again and Mackin fired a low shot from 18 yards that Smith got down well to save.

The home side had the bit between their teeth and completed their comeback on 61 minutes when a low cross from the left was fired home by Graham from 10 yards. The Lions responded with a double change as Mullen and Mullin were replaced by Dale Carrick and Robinson.

Livi struggled to reassert themselves on proceedings but threatened again on 73 minutes when Robinson slipped the ball through for Carrick but his pass was fractionally too heavy and Smith was able to smother. The home side then picked up two quickfire bookings as Dyer and Aron Lynas went into the book for heavy challenges on Carrick.

The home side made their only change on 74 minutes as Orsi was replaced by Isaac Layne and the substitute was quickly involved, firing an effort well wide from long range. Livi’s final change saw Cadden replace De Vita ten minutes from time.

Livi piled the pressure on in the latter stages without offering too much threat until the last few minutes when they broke down the left and Cadden fired a ball across the face of goal but Smith gathered well under pressure. Cadden then tried his luck from 25 yards in the 90th minute but his effort flew a couple of yards wide.

The Lions had a final chance to win it two minutes into injury time when Carrick was tripped on the edge of the box. Cadden stepped and curled his effort a few feet over the bar as Livi were forced to settle for a second draw of the season.

The result extends Livi’s unbeaten run to 16 games but can only be seen as two points dropped having been in such a commanding position at half time.

Full-time: Brechin City 2-2 Livingston

Brechin City: Smith, McLean, Dyer, Fusco, Dale, Graham, Jackson, Lynas, Orsi (Layne 74), Crighton, Sinclair
Subs not used: Love, Watt, C.O’Neil, Spark, Ford, P.O’Neil
Goals: Orsi (54), Graham (61)

Livingston: Alexander, Lithgow, Halkett, Gallagher, Byrne, Pittman, De Vita (Cadden 80), Longridge, Mullin (Carrick 62), Mullen (Robinson 62), Mackin
Subs not used: Thomson, Knox, Todorov, Maley
Goals: Mackin (25), Pittman (44)

Referee: Gavin Duncan
Att: 579
Match Report: Andy Crawford

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