Stenhousemuir 1 Brechin City 1: Nine man Stenny grind out a point

Going in to their match at home to Brechin City on Saturday Stenhousemuir would not have been looking to settle for a point.

However, by the end of the game the players had worked hard to earn a 1-1 draw playing over an hour with 10 men and the last 15 minutes with nine.

Conditions were not conducive to good football with heavy rain making the artificial pitch at Ochilview particularly slippery and strong winds playing havoc with the ball in the air.

Things got off to a bad start for Stenny as Brechin took the lead after just seven minutes when Andy Jackson found some space in the penalty area and got a shot away which took a deflection on its way but fell to Kalvin Orsi at six yard who stuck the ball in to the empty net.

Stenny weren't able to trouble Paddy O'Neill with attempts from David Marsh and Mark McGuigan both going wide as they searched for an equaliser.

Things went from bad to worse for Stenny on 25 minutes as a contentious refereeing decision saw them reduced to 10 men.

Stenny had a corner and Paddy O'Neill went down before the ball had been played in and, after calling the physio on to see to the Brechin stopper, referee Craig Napier brandished a straight red card to Stenny's Russell Dingwall.

Some City fans were calming an elbow, some a stamp and most Stenny fans just claimed it was never a sending off.

As sometimes happens in football though, the home side seemed to play better a man down and almost levelled on 34 minutes with a big assist from the wind.

Alan Cook's corner from the right caught the stiff breeze which took it over the head of Paddy O'Neill and would have been in but for City captain Paul McLean who was on the line to head it away.

Stenny came out swinging in the second half Greg Hurst almost scored what would have been a goal of the season contender when he turned Ryan McGeever beautifully with his back to goal to get one-on-one with O'Neill before chipping it over the keeper but, sadly, narrowly wide as well.

They weren't kept at bay long though and were level on 55 minutes when Alan Cook found some space inside the City box on the left and rifled a shot across the face of goal with the power leaving O'Neill no chance as it flew in to the far corner of the net.

Brechin responded and McLean picked out Andy Jackson at six yards with a great cross but the striker;s header was over the bar on 65 minutes.

Stenny were reduced to nine men on 74 minutes as Conner Duthie, booked in the first half, was shown a second yellow for pulling down Tam Scobbie as he made a break down the left wing.

Graeme Smith denied his former club three minutes after the sending off when he got down low to his right to parry McLean's shot from inside the area.

City had all of the possession in the final 10 minutes but it was Stenny who should have won it when City gave the ball away cheaply and a good counter attacking move put McBrearty one-on-one with O'Neill but his shot was tame and the keeper managed to save and hold the ball comfortably.

In the end it was Colin McMenamin who was the happier of the two bosses with his side grinding out a hard fought point while down to nine men.