First derby day blues for Loons

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Forfar Athletic are still searching for their first league win after they lost 2-1 to Brechin City in the first derby of the season.

The Loons made four changes from the extra time defeat to Dundee on Tuesday, with Rab Douglas, Stuart Malcolm, Darren Dods and Mark McCulloch making way for Darren Hill, Neil McCabe, Marvin Andrews and Martyn Fotheringham.

The game started off quite even, with both sides going nowhere near the goal in the first 15 minutes, the closest anyone came was a cross from Paul McLean that Hill gathered with ease.

The home side did take the lead in the 18th minute though, a shot from Andy Jackson was deflected into the air and as everyone else watched, Craig Molloy stepped forward to stab the ball home.

Forfar almost scored an instantaneous equaliser as they ran up the park but ex-Brechin striker Paul McManus nodded over from Gavin Swankie’s cross.

Six minutes later they had another chance when Iain Campbell’s 20 yard free kick evaded everyone in the box bar keeper Graeme Smith who did well to collect.

Brechin were forced into an early sub after Steven Robb looked to have been injured, with their summer signing Ryan Donnelly replacing him.

Another former Brechin player, midfielder Gary Fusco had an effort from the edge of the box flash past the post on the half hour mark before Marvin Andrews headed wide.

Ryan Donnelly almost made it two for the home side but his effort from outside the box was pushed away by Hill before cleared.

Both sides had a chance each before the half ended, McManus firing across goal whilst Andy Jackson had his low shot parried wide by Hill.

Half time: Brechin City 1, Forfar Athletic 0

Gavin Swankie had Forfar’s best opportunity of the game so far two minutes into the second half when a defensive error allowed McManus to thread the ball through to Swankie, whose one-on-one with Smith saw the keeper do well to rush out and block the shot.

Seven minutes later Brechin doubled their lead after a counter attack ended with Bobby Barr squaring for Alan Trouten as Hill came out and Trouten tapped into an empty net.

Less than a minute later another Brechin counter attack ended with a Trouten shot, but this time he put his effort wide of the mark.

A bizarre occurance happened in the 67th minute as Brechin seemed to have run out of spare balls at their bench as they had all been cleared out of the ground and nobody had went to collect them so play was stopped for a minute or two while someone went to get another.

Iain Campbell went close with another free kick after 71 minutes, his set piece being pushed away from underneath the crossbar by the keeper before Omar Kader headed wide from McManus’ cross.

Forfar were awarded a penalty in the 89th minute when Chris Templeman was hauled down by Gerry McLauchlan just inside the area. After much protesting from the home side, Iain Campbell stepped up to net his first penalty of the season. Brechin keeper Graeme Smith was booked in the aftermath of the goal for time wasting.

Deep into injury time the Loons were given a brilliant chance to snatch a point, this time Smith tripped up Gavin Swankie, but was strangely allowed to stay on the park when he should have had a second yellow. Iain Campbell took his second penalty in the space of three minutes but saw this one saved by Smith and the rebound was cleared before the final whistle went.

Brechin City: Graeme Smith, Paul McLean, Jonny Brown, Graham Hay, Gerry McLauchlan, Craig Molloy, Alan Trouten, Stuart Anderson, Andy Jackson, Bobby Barr (Greg Cameron 75), Steven Robb (Ryan Donnelly 26). Subs not used: Steven Jackson, Ewan Moyes, Chris Tobin, Allan Walker, Craig Nelson (gk).

Forfar Athletic: Darren Hill, Mark Baxter, Iain Campbell, Neil McCabe, Marvin Andrews, Martyn Fotheringham (Chris Templeman 62), Omar Kader (Ross Campbell 80), Gary Fusco, Paul McManus, Gavin Swankie, Bryan Deasley (Gavin Malin 62). Subs not used: James Dale, Duncan Reid, Rab Douglas (gk).