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BRECHIN CITY 2 : 1 QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 14th February 2004
Rating: 7.05
Rating: 7.05
Rating: 3.62
Rating: 6.55
Rating: 5.85
Rating: 4.85
Rating: 5.25
Rating: 7.25
Rating: 5.89
Rating: 5.50
Rating: 6.40
S1 - 25
Rating: 5.63
S2 - 46
Rating: 5.32
S3 - 74
Rating: 4.53
Members of the Internet Fan Club can award players marks out of ten for their performance today. The player with the most points awarded in the two days following a match will be the IFC Man of the Match. All of the points will then be added to a running total for each player and the results published in the mom League Table.

Name or IFC No.
Queens are still without a league win in 2004 after this disappointing defeat in Angus. John Connolly's response to last week's "game of two halves" at Motherwell was not surprisingly to send out the second half team which meant starts for McMullan, McColligan and Jaconelli in place of McAlpine, Payne and the suspended Gary Wood. In addition, Jim Thomson returned to partner Brian Reid in place of Andy Aitken. McAlpine, Payne and Aitken made up the bench alongside Alex Burke and Stuart Robertson. For Brechin, Marc Millar and Steven Hampshire were suspended following their sendings off against Ayr so that meant a rare start up front for Chris Templeman unfortunately.

Queens started very brightly and after just five minutes Emilio Jaconelli, making his first start, seemed to be behind the home defence but stumbled and looked for a pass rather than running on to shoot himself. That allowed Andy Dowie to get back and dispossess the young striker. A minute later Sean O'Connor snatched at an opportunity inside the box and shot just high and wide from about 8 yards. On 8 minutes Eric Paton's 25 yard free kick was not all that far over the top as Queens continued to dominate. Brechin first decent foray forward arrived on 13 minutes when Charlie King curled a left footed effort just wide of the top right corner from 18 yards.

The match turned as a contest on twenty minutes though in a disastrous change for Queens. Charlie King somehow escaped beyond Jim Thomson and through on goal. He was running slightly away from goal but JT clearly pulled him back. Despite the presence of Eric Paton about three yards to the left referee Calum Murray probably had little option but to flash the red card at the returning defender. From the resulting 20 yard free kick Chris Templeman looked to have given his side the lead with a curling drive to the bottom right corner but John Dodds threw himself across to make a magnificent save. A minute later another King effort went narrowly over the bar. Connolly had seen enough and introduced Andy Aitken in place of Paul Burns, reverting to a 4-3-2 formation.
Dodds denies Templeton
In the 34th minute Eric Paton was caught in possession by on-loan Ranger Daryl Duffy who strode into the penalty area before shooting to that bottom right corner again. This time Dodds made another fine block and Brian Reid reacted well to prevent Templeman turning the rebound home. Three minutes later another fine block with his legs by Dodds prevented Templeman breaking the deadlock with a turn and shot from six yards. It was all Brechin at this time and they really should have grabbed the lead five minutes before the break. Daryl Duffy worked an opening and shot from the edge of the box only for Dodds to parry again. This time however the ball flew straight back to Duffy who somehow managed to lift the ball over the empty net when anything on target was destined to be a goal.

Against the run of play though Jaconelli almost grabbed a shock lead for Queens three minutes before the interval when he just beat David Hay to a short back-pass but the keeper's contact was enough to deflect the ball wide of target.

Queens made a second change at half time with Stephen Payne replacing Paul McMullan and a switch to a 3-4-2 formation with Bowey asked to cover left back when necessary. The first shot of the second period came from Sean O'Connor who turned on a throw in and shot left footed well wide from 15 yards. Incredibly though, on 53 minutes, Queens grabbed the lead. It came following great work down the right by Jaconelli. He won possession from David White and, as the home side claimed for a foul, made for the bye-line before firing in a fine low hard cross. It was missed by Hay and O'Connor in the six yard box but met by Steve Bowey steaming in at the back post and he hammered the ball home.
Bowser notches our goal
Two minutes later Brechin were back looking dangerous and Duffy somehow wormed a way past Reid only to find John Dodds smothering at his feet. Jaconelli though had another half chance on 58 minutes when he latched onto Bagan's pass and burst into the box again. However, his cross-come-shot ended up not really being either and Hay was able to save before O'Connor could reach the ball. On 63 minutes Dick Campbell decided it was time to gamble and made a double substitution with McLeish and Beith replacing Black and Clark. Five minutes later and the change paid dividends as Chris Templeman's big hanging cross from the right was missed by Dodds and Charlie King's diving header at the back post found the back of the net for an equaliser.

Connolly's response was to replace the strangely out of sorts O'Connor with Alex Burke who immediately showed some good touches. However, four minutes later and the home side had captured the lead. It was almost an identical goal, again Templeman was the provider with a cross from the right side. This time it was Daryl Duffy who met it with the near post header which cannoned off the post. First to the loose ball was Gavin Beith who turned the ball into the empty net from virtually on the goal line. If that was disastrous for the ten men, the mountain to climb became a whole mountain range two minutes later. Queens scrambled yet another attack away and McColligan completed the clearance from the edge of his own box before being caught in a late challenge by Templeman. Brian reacted badly to the foul and raked his studs at the big man as he lay on the ground. Referee Murray stopped play to pull both players towards him before showing a yellow card to the home player and sending McColligan off. By the letter of the law it's hard to argue against the decision although there appeared to be little actual contact between the two players. With six minutes remaining Brechin introduced Colin Boylan for Templeman but neither side ever looked like scoring again and the home side held on comfortably enough to the vital three points which lifted them off the bottom of the league for the first time all season.

For Queens this is another disappointing defeat and to be honest, whilst we have to be disappointed to have lost a lead, Brechin were well worth their win. It was all so different prior to Jim Thomson's sending off though. Having failed to beat any of the bottom four in the last four league games we now go into a series of tough home matches against Inverness, Ross County and Clyde to come. With Thomson, McColligan and Wood all suspended for the first of those games we are going to have to scrap for everything that day.

Ewan Lithgow

Photographs - David Gow

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