Brechin 1 Stenhousemuir 1: Warriors clinch play-off place

Ten man Stenhousemuir ground out a 1-1 draw with Brechin City to take their survuval fight in SPFL League One into the play-offs.

By Fraser Nicoll
Saturday, 4th May 2019, 11:07 pm
Updated Saturday, 4th May 2019, 11:10 pm
Jubilant Andy Munro (Stenhousemuir) celebrates after the Scottish League 1 match between Brechin City and Stenhousemuir at Glebe Park, where a draw was enough to see Brechin City relegated to League 2.

(c) Dave Johnston
Jubilant Andy Munro (Stenhousemuir) celebrates after the Scottish League 1 match between Brechin City and Stenhousemuir at Glebe Park, where a draw was enough to see Brechin City relegated to League 2. (c) Dave Johnston

The Warriors came into the game knowing they only needed a point and started off the game in a 5-3-2 style formation.

It paid off despite Connor McBrearty’s dismissal and Colin McMenamin’s side took the play-off semi-final spot against Annan Athletic – and sent Barry Smith’s Brechin into the bottom tier.

The opening 20 minutes didn’t make comfortable viewing for either set of fans – both defences seemed to have lapses in concertation but neither team could capitalise on their chances.

Conor McBrearty (Stenhousemuir) is sent off after getting a red card from referee Euan Anderson during the Scottish League 1 match between Brechin City and Stenhousemuir at Glebe Park, where a draw was enough to see Brechin City relegated to League 2. (c) Dave Johnston

Stenny’s Andy Munro was booked for a bad challenge on the edge of their box, leaving Brechin’s Callum Tapping standing over a free-kick in a dangerous position.

Tapping fired in, clearing the wall, but the Stenny number one Graeme Smith got across and a strong hand was enough to keep the ball out.

Minutes later and the Warriors were on the counter - Ruaridh Donaldson broke down the left flank squaring it to Mark Mcguigan who buried it into the bottom left corner to give them a precious lead.

The first half came to a close with Stenny up 1-0 despite both teams having a fair share of chances.

Mark McGuigan (Stenhousemuir) celebrates with team mates after scoring during the Scottish League 1 match between Brechin City and Stenhousemuir at Glebe Park, where a draw was enough to see Brechin City relegated to League 2. (c) Dave Johnston

The Glebe Park side came out after the break to grab an equaliser within five minutes of the restart.

Stenny failed to properly clear their lines from a Brechin corner and an inviting cross found striker Andy Jackson unmarked at the back post who levelled the scoring. Game on.

Clearly unsettled by losing their goal advantage, Stenhousemuir looked to be working harder for every ball.

However, only minutes after Brechin levelled, Conor McBrearty was given a straight red card for a reckless tackle from behind.

Stenhousemuir goalkeeper Graeme Smith saves from Dougie Hill (Brechin City) and Callum Tapping (Brechin City) during the Scottish League 1 match between Brechin City and Stenhousemuir at Glebe Park, where a draw was enough to see Brechin City relegated to League 2. (c) Dave Johnston

Colin McMenamin now changed the shape of the team – leaving Mark McGuigan as the sole striker.

Alan Cook was brought on into the left of midfield and made an immediate impact; he broke down the flank and drilled it across the box to find a roaming David Marsh who headed just over the bar.

It was now fifteen minutes from time, and the game had completely opened up, with Brechin pushing forward and Stenny coming close with attacks on the counter.

Mark McGuigan as well as substitutes Sean Dickson and Kieran Gibbons came close to sealing the victory but couldn’t hit their shots on target.

Thomas Scobbie (Brechin City) tussles with Greg Hurst (Stenhousemuir) during the Scottish League 1 match between Brechin City and Stenhousemuir at Glebe Park, where a draw was enough to see Brechin City relegated to League 2. (c) Dave Johnston

Six minutes of stoppage time were played out to a mountain of noise from around the ground.

Nevertheless, the full-time whistle came and the score remained 1-1, meaning Stenhousemuir escaped automatic relegation.

Colin McMenamin’s side now turn their attentions to the playoffs - their first challenge being Annan Athletic midweek.