The ANGUS derby bragging rights stayed at Glebe Park at the weekend when a poor Forfar side was comprehensively beaten 4-1 by rivals Brechin City.
The Loons made three changes to the team that was beaten 5-1 on Tuesday by Queen of the South, with Barry Sellars, Chris Templeman and Danny Denholm coming in for the benched pair of Omar Kader, Kevin Motion and the suspended Michael Dunlop.
The away side started the strongest with the first chance coming in the third minute, Gavin Swankie sending in a cross that was headed just wide by Denholm. The same player was played in by a long ball from Martyn Fotheringham five minutes later, his shot leading to a corner that came to nothing.
Denholm’s game was over in the 12th minute, when it looked like his hamstring injury had occurred again, limping off to be replaced by Kevin Motion.
Brechin, who have vastly improved since sacking Jim Weir and appointing Ray McKinnon, took the lead with quarter of an hour gone, Kurtis Byrne controlling the ball near the corner flag, he played it back to Jonathan Brown who curled it past ex-City keeper David Scott from the edge of the box much to the delight of the home support in the Cemetery End.
The Loons responded well, with Ross Campbell having his header saved just by Craig Nelson in the 20th minute. Nelson came to the rescue of City again a minute later when Chris Templeman’s shot looked to be heading in until he got a touch to the ball, diverting it towards the post, with the defence clearing before any other attackers could reach the ball.
Ex-Loon loanee Andy Jackson left the Forfar defence in his wake in the 26th minute when he raced clear, his run only being stopped by Michael Bolochoweckyj, who did well to get back, at the last second.
The visitors had an excellent opportunity to equalise 10 minutes before half time when Motion was hauled down in the box and the referee awarded a penalty. Alan Trouten went off before the penalty was taken to be replaced by Jordan Lowden. Templeman stepped up to take the penalty, and his attempt was saved well by Nelson.
Half-time: Brechin City 1, Forfar Athletic 0.
Brechin were awarded a penalty of their own in the 50th minute when on-loan striker Kurtis Byrne’s swashbuckling run was brought to a halt by Mark McCulloch’s last man challenge, who received a red card for doing so. Bolochoweckyj was also booked for protesting the decision. Byrne slotted the ball past the keeper from the spot to make it 2-0.
In the 57th minute Andy Jackson was booked for a foul, from the resultant free kick, Ross Campbell headed just over. Garry Brady was then substituted for striker David McKenna, showing Brechin’s intent to score more as they now had three strikers on the field.
They did so just four minutes later when McKenna broke clear and squared it for Jackson who skipped around the ‘keeper and tapped it into the empty net. James Craigen was booked after the goal for protesting that Jackson was offside when he received the ball.
Gavin Swankie was then replaced five minutes later by former Charlie King, the ex-City veteran warmly welcomed by the home support, having spent over 10 years at the Glebe before joining the Loons this summer.
With 20 minutes to go the Loons pulled a goal back in comical circumstances when Ross Campbell’s speculative shot from long range slipped under Nelson’s body and trickled over the line.
The same player tried to score from the same place again just 30 seconds later but his shot went over the bar. Chris Templeman then trudged off to be replaced by winger Omar Kader.
Two minutes later Charlie King was fouled to allow Iain Campbell to try for goal from around 25 yards but his free kick was placed too high and went over. Jordan Lowden was replaced by Johnny Stewart after the foul.
In the 74th minute Stewart played the ball to Paul McLean, whose shot was parried away by Scott for a corner. From the resultant corner Ewan Moyes had a powerful header hit the crossbar and was eventually cleared. Graham Hay was booked with seven minutes to go after a challenge on Omar Kader.
Brechin added a fourth with virtually the last kick of the game when Andy Jackson scored what was almost a carbon copy of his first as he raced clear and rounded David Scott to slot home his 13th goal of the season.