Tuesday 22 February 2011

Brechin City 1 - 0 Livingston
HT (0 - 0)

Brechin City ended league leaders, Livingston’s run in a poor match, edged by a single goal from Craig Molloy, just minutes from full time.

The ground conditions were far from perfect, with a heavy, waterlogged pitch making many passes run short, but it was the home side that coped better, looking far hungrier than the tired looking Lions.

The first half was an even affair, with both sides having their fair share of half chances.  Early on in the game, it was the Lions that were pressuring, with Bobby Barr and Joe Hamill having shots deflected by the resolute City defence.

It was Livi defender Devon Jacobs that had the first meaningful shot of the game, nine minutes in, but his soft, low shot from 18 yards was all to easy for home keeper Craig Nelson.

Brechin were next to have a shot, with Tony Bullock called into action to block an effort from the home side.

Livingston failed to convert an excellent piece of play 21 minutes into the game; a well placed pass by Kenny Deuchar found captain Liam Fox just inside the box, but his swing at the ball only succeeded in seeing it go backwards to Iain Russell, whose resulting shot went well over the bar.

Brechin troubled next, with Kevin Byers sending a soft, low shot goalwards, only for Bullock to comfortably save the effort.

The visitors responded seconds later with an excellent Kyle Jacobs shot, from the edge of the penalty box, unlucky to be touched just over by the relatively untroubled home keeper.

The determined Rory McAllister had the next shot on target from a free-kick just outside the Lions’ penalty area, which was well saved by the Livingston defence, after the low shot deceived the defensive wall.

Kyle Jacobs had the next attempt: an Iain Russell cross, after Joe Hamill’s freekick found its way to the young midfielder who unleashed a powerful shot which was unlucky to go soaring over the bar and into the terracing.

Fox had the last effort of the half, after a rare well-played passing move by the Lions, but he failed to connect with the ball correctly and saw his effort trundle wide of the goal.

The second half was one to be forgotten for the boys in amber, as it was Brechin that dominated the half, and ultimately came out with the win.

Bullock was called into action, 15 minutes into the second half: a cross by Rory McAllister finding its way into the relieved arms of the Lions keeper.

Brechin continued to pressure, just 3 minutes later Rory McAllister managed to ease his way through the Livi defence after a failed clearance, and onto the ball, and was unlucky to see his shot trundle well wide in the end.

Bullock was again called into action to save a low shot to the bottom corner by substitute Jamie Redman, after a long cross into the box.

Redman was again the man to trouble the Livi defence, his low cross requiring recent signing David Cowan to power wide for a corner.

The pressure continued on the Lions’ goal, and Bullock was required to punch an effort clear after 76mins.

Four minutes later, the defence struggled to clear an onslaught of Brechin attackers with the ball staying in the air in the box for a substantial period until Redman finally brought it down to feet in preparation for a shot and Cowan managed to clear it out of the box.

Craig Molloy played a neat 1-2 with attacker McAllister in the box, and was unlucky to see his shot go agonisingly wide much to the aghast sounds of the Brechin home support.

Redman again found himself unlucky, after sending a low shot into the keepers hands, after a well played period of passing from a corner.

The increasingly frustrated home support were not made much longer to wait for the conclusive goal, with just 87minutes on the clock, Molloy dodged by defender after defender to eventually unleash a powerful right footed shot past the distraught Livi keeper following a neat 1-2.

Brechin weren’t finished yet and a looping cross was sent into the box to be headed out for a corner by Chris Malone.

The Lions had the last effort of the game, and surprisingly their first major effort of the half.  A corner by Joe Hamill finding its way out to Liam Fox on the edge of the area who unleashed a powerful low shot, which Craig Nelson did well to get down to.

So the game ended 1-0 to the home side, and the Lions will have gone home with their heads hung low after a dismal display.  The game as a whole was poor, but it was Brechin City that coped better with the churned up pitch, and deserved the win to reduce the deficit to 8 points at the top of the table.  Meanwhile the Lions will be hoping for a quick return to winning ways with a home game against Alloa on Saturday 26th, with a 3pm Kick-off.

Brechin City: Nelson, McLean, McLauchlan, Moyes, Cook, Byers, Fusco, Malloy, McKay (McKenna 66), Kirkpatrick (Redman 45), McAllister
Subs not used: Scott, White, Janczyk

Livingston: Bullock, D.Jacobs, C.Barr, Cowan, Malone, Ky.Jacobs, Fox, Hamill, B.Barr, Deuchar (Winters 69), Russell (De Vita 86)
Subs not used: McDowall, O'Byrne, Conway

Att: 565

Ref: A.Law

Report: Chris Naismith