The following match report and quotes piece were published in the Brechin Advertiser on Tuesday 11 April 2017.
Brechin City were leapfrogged by a superior Airdrieonians side after a 3-1 defeat at the Excelsior Stadium.
Darren Dods’s men fell behind to two quick goals midway through the first half but an own goal by Jack Leitch shortly before half-time restored hope.
However, a positive start to the second half was soon quelled by a third Airdrie goal, ending the match as a contest – especially given Brechin’s misfiring at the other end.
Dods made two changes from the Livingston defeat, bringing in Ally Love and Willie Dyer for Ross Caldwell and Aron Lynas.
A quiet opening period was followed by a three-minute spell in which City were twice punished by a ruthless Airdrie for conceding possession.
The first saw Love caught on the ball just outside his own penalty area by Kyle Hutton, who slipped in Iain Russell to finish.
Airdrie then broke superbly from a Brechin corner, ending with Ryan Conroy threading an excellent through ball for wingback Kieran MacDonald to race on to and add the second.
City looked dead and buried until they were gifted a route back into the match. With half-time approaching, Rohan Ferguson palmed an Andy Jackson header over the bar when perhaps he should have held. From the resulting Love corner, midfielder Leitch rose unchallenged to head into his own net.
This buoyed the away side, who emerged from the break in better shape. Andy Jackson collected a high through ball but failed to pull the trigger effectively under the attention of Sean McIntosh and Gary Fusco fired over from a dangerous range before the game was put beyond doubt.
Again Brechin conceded possession in their own half and were punished. On 56 minutes, James Dale lost the ball seconds after winning it, allowing Scott Stewart to advance and pick out Russell for an easy second, Airdrie’s third.
The later introduction of Alan Trouten and Ross Caldwell did nothing to improve the away side’s fortunes, who drop to third, one point behind Saturday’s opponents but with a play-off place still in their own hands with four matches remaining.
Dods disappointed with self-inflicted wounds
Brechin City manager Darren Dods said it was unlike his side to surrender possession so easily after defeat to Airdrieonians at the Excelsior Stadium.
City were penalised when Ally Love lost the ball at the edge of his own box midway through the first half, and again when James Dale gave it away shortly after half-time. Airdie’s other goal came minutes after the first via a counter-attack.
“We gave it away in cheap areas, it’s not been like us,” said Dods. “The last six weeks we’ve been excellent.
“OK, Livingston beat us last week but the last six weeks [besides that] have been excellent. We kept the ball well in areas and we moved it sharper.
“Today, I don’t know if it was the surface, or what it was. It just wasn’t like us.”
Looking ahead to the run-in Dods targeted the two home fixtures as crucial in their fight to claim a play-off berth, which remains in their hands despite the defeat.
Victories for Queens Park and Albion Rovers mean that just four points now separates Airdrie in third – who sit one point ahead of Brechin – and Albion in seventh.
“We know we need to pick up points, I think we probably need three [wins] out of four, depending on how results go,” said Dods.
“Everybody has got to play each other. So if you get three points it’s a big boost and you’re getting further away from a team round about you.