City fail to shine as skipper sees red against Airdrie

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Darren Dods’ men may feel hard-done by as Iain Russell’s disputed second-half penalty was enough to give the Diamonds all three points.

Perhaps it was the exertions of watching Scotland against England the previous evening but there was only 739 brave souls there to see what proved to be a decent game.

On a cold but bright afternoon at the Excelsior Stadium, Brechin boss Dods made two changes to the side that won 3-1 at Peterhead the previous week, with skipper McLean returning along with Gareth Rodger in place of Darren McCormack and Finn Graham.

Going into this game Brechin were well placed in second spot, while fourth-placed Airdrie, under new boss Mark Wilson, were hoping to build on last week’s 2-1 derby win at Albion Rovers.

There were some full-bloodied challenges flying in on both sides, getting supporters on their feet.

There was a sense of expectancy as the teams came out for the second half that a goal would arrive.

There was a blow for Brechin when Trouten was forced to limp off and he was replaced by Aaron Lynas.

And things got worse when Airdrie went ahead in 54 minutes from a disputed penalty. Referee Napier said Dougie Hill handled in the box, although it looked more ball to hand, and he pointed to the spot, with Hill being booked for protesting too much. Russell stepped up and slotted past Smith into the bottom right-hand corner.

Leitch was booked for a tackle in 65 minutes but Spence curled his effort wide from the edge of the area.

In 70 minutes, Airdrie skipper Fitzpatrick and Love booked after a tussle in midfield that ended with both players grappling on the deck.

Brechin’s desire to find an equaliser threatened to boil over and Lynas was booked for foul on Ryan Conroy.

Tempers were fraying and they reached boiling point when skipper McLean was shown a straight red for a high-footed challenge on Joe Gorman in 80 minutes.

After that the visitors found it hard to get possession and outwith a couple of hopeful balls into the box they couldn’t find an equaliser on a day to forget.