Stenhousemuir v Brechin City at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 4.8.18
SPFL Ladbrokes League One Att 484
Stenhousemuir 1 [Hill og 8] Brechin City 0
Stenhousemuir – Smith, Reid, Donaldson, Neill, [b87] Tena, Gibbons [b11][so 44], Vaughan [McMenamin 76[, McGuigan, Duthie, Halleran [Lochhead 36][t] and Dickson. Subs not used – McMinn, Sinclair, Kemp and Johnson.
Brechin City – Brennan, Burns, Hill, Spark [b86], Orsi, Sinclair [b2], Shields, Lynas, Smith, Morena [b70][Melingui 76] and Henry [Jackson h/t] [b70]. Subs not used – McGeever, O’Neil and Dailly.
Referee – Barry Cook Assistants – David Roome and Mark McHendry
Prior to the game starting the teams were given their now customary opening day guard of honour by the Warriors in the Community players. Both sides went into the first league game of the season depleted in numbers due to injuries and suspensions and neither was able to field a full complement of substitutes for the game.
Stenhousemuir had a trialist on the bench in Scott Lochhead ex-Dunfermline Athletic and he was to come on earlier than planned due to Thomas Halleran leaving the field after 36 minutes through injury.
The game began in a robust manner and Jordan Sinclair picked up the first league caution of the season in only the second minute for a bad foul which was actually his second foul of the day despite the game having just started. The Warriors took the lead in the 8th minute when a Conner Duthie corner was put into his own net by the unfortunate Dougie Hill. This was the first own goal anywhere in the league this season and the Brechin faithful who had to endure a season without a win last season must have been wondering if this season was going to be just as bad.
The home side saw Kieran Gibbons booked in the 11th minute and that was to have consequences later in the game as he was sent off for another bookable offence just before half time with a clumsy challenge on Kalvin Orsi. This was the first sending off in the league this season.
The Warriors had been the better team in the first half albeit without bringing Brechin keeper Conor Brennan into action took often. The sending off changed the complexion of the game though and Brechin were to see much more of the ball.
In some ways the timing of the sending off would have been beneficial as it gave Brown Ferguson a chance to drill into the players how they were going to play in the second half rather than being pro-active during the match. It also saw Darren Dods make a change with Andy Jackson coming on as they tried to be more of an attacking force. Jackson is usually a thorn in the Warriors side but he clearly needed games after a lengthy period out through injury.
Most of the play during the second half saw Brechin occupying the Stenhousemuir half of the field but they struggled to break through a resolute Stenhousemuir defence who had no compunction in clearing their lines.
The best chance of a goal actually came for Stenhousemuir after Brennan spilled a Duthie shot but the keeper atoned by making a double save after stopping rebounds from Mark McGuigan and Duthie again. At the other end Graeme Smith, who was in the wars receiving treatment on several occasions, kept a clean sheet with a fine save from Boris Melingui with four minutes left.
All in all a hard fought win in the circumstances and in the main a positive start to the league campaign.
|August 4, 2018
|SPFL Ladbrokes League 1