IT WAS a derby day to forget for Arbroath as Brechin City battled to a 3-2 Boxing Day victory at Glebe Park.
Despite a storming performance in the second half, the Lichties were made to rue their poor start to the match.
Speaking after the match, Arbroath’s assistant manager Stewart Petrie said: “When you start a game as poorly as we did, two nil down playing a team on form away from home, it is always going to be an uphill struggle. We are disappointed with how we played but I am sure Ray is pleased with how his players performed.
“I thought the effort in the second half was great but possibly the two-goal gap was just too much to pull back.
“In this league it is tight and if you are two-nil down away from home at half time there are not a lot of teams which could pull that back.
“It wasn’t the best of surfaces but in all fairness both teams created lot of chances. Tony Bullock had a couple of good saves where it was one-on-one and we had chances towards the end. We are disappointed to come away from home and not take anything away from the match.”
Brechin started more brightly than the Lichties, and it paid off in eight minutes when STUART MALCOLM was unable to get out of the way of Alan Trouten’s cross and diverted the ball in to the back of the net to hand City the lead.
Steven Doris had a chance to pull the Lichties level in the 12th minute, but City’s ‘keeper, Michael Andrews, was able to tip his headed effort over the bar.
City extended their lead after 35 minutes when PAUL McLEAN’S 25-yard effort nestled in the bottom right corner of the goal.
Scott Robertson almost gave the Lichties a lifeline before the end of the first half after Andrews failed to collect the ball from a corner, but Robertson’s shot sailed over the bar.
Half-time: Brechin City, 2; Arbroath, 0.
The Lichties started the second half much sharper, and almost pulled a goal back within a minute of the restart when Lee Sibanda pounced on a poor clearance by City. Unfortunately, his right foot effort went over the bar.
City had a handful of chances after that, but a combination of poor finishing and good goalkeeping from Bullock prevented them from adding to their tally.
The Lichties got their first of the afternoon in the 57th minute, when PAUL SHEERIN’S drilled shot sailed past Andrews and into the back of the net.
Unfortunately, City regained their two goal cushion four minutes later when TROUTEN slotted home a Derek Carcary pass.
Just two minutes after City scored, Arbroath were awarded a penalty after Gary Fusco fouled Steven Doris in the box. DORIS stepped up to take the spot kick and duly fired the ball home to take the match to 3-2.
Tony Bullock was called into action several times later in the half as City tried to put the game out of reach, but Trouten had several chances saved as Bullock kept the Lichties within reach of at least a draw.
Arbroath kept pushing for an equaliser, but both Sibanda and Doris had efforts drift over the crossbar on a frustrating derby day for the Lichties.