Brechin City 1, Stranraer 1
Stranraer continued their recent run of good form and results when they made their longest league trip of the season to Brechin and came away from Glebe Park with a share of the spoils.
The result meant they picked up their first point of the season on the road and also, thanks to results elsewhere, climbed another place in the table.
The game took its time to warm up with the early exchanges yielding few chances at either end.
Brechin were on top for a spell but were guilty of serious profligacy later and it was Alan Trouten who was the culprit. Lloyd Kinnaird failed to deal with an innocuous cross and the ex-Ayr United winger nipped ahead of him but with just Mitchell to beat, he blasted wide from only a few yards out.
Stranraer responded with their best chance. The ball ran wide to Scott Robertson who delivered a fine cross to Frank McKeown at the back post but he mistimed his header.
On the half-hour, Trouten missed another chance after Ryan Donnelly had played a neat through ball into his path and this proved to be a warning sign that the Blues should have heeded. Trouten dashed into the box and was felled by Kinnaird as he tried to round him. It was a certain penalty and he dusted himself down to send Mitchell the wrong way from the spot and put the home side ahead.
The second half commenced with Stranraer showing as a renewed force. Within a few minutes they ought to have been level. Another great cross from Robertson found Martin Grehan but he headed over. A corner resulted from the next break and McKeown headed into a crowd of defenders but the visitors were looking threatening and enjoying their best spell.
It was no surprise that almost 10 minutes into the half Stranraer equalised. Andy Stirling was fouled 20 yards from goal and Mark Corcoran stepped up to curl a fabulous free kick into the net off the post to open his goal scoring account for the club.
Stranraer earned another free kick from a similar range but a better angle for a right-footed taker and it was Chris Aitken who had an effort that cannoned back off the post.
The game had opened into a much more attacking spectacle from both sides and the dour first half seemed a distant memory. Corcoran created half a chance for McKeown at one end before Brechin launched a counter-attack and scythed open the visiting defence. With numbers in support, Aidan Connolly cut inside one defender but ballooned his shot high and wide. Connolly had another run at goal shortly after but bearing in on goal he couldn’t beat the advancing Mitchell who made a fine block.
Stranraer almost made the home side pay dearly for their poor finishing when two of the substitutes combined to unlock the Brechin defence. Mark Docherty threaded a perfectly weighted pass into the path of the charging Ryan Borris but as he tried to lift the ball over Smith the home keeper got an outstretched arm on to the ball. Aitken had a chance from a free kick in the dying moments that he struck straight at Smith but with the game ending even and both managers feeling their side could have won the game, a draw was probably just reward for both sides.
Stephen Aitken was pleased with the performance and accepted that the result had continued the recent form and brought a good week for the club to a satisfactory conclusion. Brechin isn’t an easy place to get a result and he felt that on another day, the second half showing could have earned a victory but the signs are there that rewards for good performances will come.
Brechin City: Graeme Smith, Paul McLean, Jonathan Brown, Gerry McLauchlan, Ewan Moyes, Craig Molloy (Allan Walker 65), Alan Trouten, Stuart Anderson, Andy Jackson, Ryan Donnelly (Aidan Connolly 65), Bobby Barr. Subs not used: Chris Tobin, Steven Jackson, Steven Robb, Greg Cameron, Craig Nelson.
Booked: McLean, McLauchlan
Goal: Trouten 37 Pen
Stranraer: David Mitchell, Scott Rumsby, Lloyd Kinnaird, Scott Robertson, Frank McKeown, Chris Aitken, Andy Stirling (Mark Docherty 77), Grant Gallagher, Martin Grehan, David McKenna (Jamie Longworth 68), Mark Corcoran (Ryan Borris 71). Subs not used: David MacGregor, Adam Forde, Chris Fahey
Booked: Aitken, McKeown, Grehan, Gallagher, Borris
Goal: Corcoran 54
Referee: C Allan