Brechin City 0 Queen’s Park 0
Glebe Park is one of those grounds that every football fan should visit at some point in their travels. The hedge that forms the backdrop to the terracing is enough to set it apart, but add in the slope that runs down the park and you really have something that stands out from today’s purpose built stadia.
It’s seven years since Queen’s last played Brechin at their home ground, and there were a few in the ranks of the visiting support making their maiden visit to the ground. Sad to say, while the trip was an enjoyable experience, the game itself seldom looked like catching fire.
As expected, Gus made a barrowload of changes from the team that made it through to the third round of the Irn-Bru cup in midweek. We lined up with Andy Murphy in goals, a back four of Ross Millen, Ryan McGeever, Adam Cummins and Scott Gibson; a midfield five of Paul Woods, Conor McVey, Darren Miller, Josh Watt and Sean Burns, with John Carter leading the attack.
Queen’s had the slope in their favour for the first period, but the home side started better and the vastly experienced Andy Jackson went close after two minutes with a shot on the turn.
That was the closest either keeper came to being tested in the opening 15 minutes as the sparring continued.
Queen’s first threat came after 18 minutes when Miller fired in a corner that was headed back in his direction and he whipped over a cross that was headed narrowly wide by McGeever.
The next 10 minutes produced precious little, apart from a scare when a Burns’ passback forced Murphy into a hasty clearance that could have had disastrous consequences.
Thankfully, we escaped unscathed, but moments later, Gus made his first change of the day, replacing Burns with David Galt.
David’s first involvement was to win a corner, which fell to Woods, who shot narrowly wide.
The home side hadn’t produced much at this stage, but we almost gifted them a chance when the excellent McGeever lost out to Jackson,who failed to make anything of the chance and we stayed on terms.
That was that as far as goalmouth action went in the first period and we reached the interval with the score:
Brechin City 0 Queen’s Park 0
Neither side made any more changes at the break, but the home side tried to make the elements work in their favour at the start of the second half.
Dyer shot wide from a fair way out before Love forced Murphy into action as he unleashed a decent drive.
At this stage, there were concerns in the visiting support that we might be in for an edgy 45 minutes; but credit to the Spiders, we grew into the game and looked the likelier the longer the game went on.
Just before the hour, Miller had a shot blocked and Carter an overhead kick saved by Smith as Queen’s tried to record a rare away victory at Glebe Park.
Carter made way for Malone after 65 minutes, minutes before the best moment of the game.
Millen created the initial overlap, and when the ball came into the middle Woods, Galt and Malone all had chances; all got shots away on target … and all saw their efforts blocked, or saved by Smith.
The near miss spurred Queen’s into further attacks, and Miller could have given us cause to cheer if he’d managed to find his best delivery with a couple of free kicks.
He couldn’t and the game continued to simmer rather than come to the boil.
While it remained scoreless, there was always the danger of the home side landing a sucker punch.
Jackson came close to landing that blow with 10 minutes left, but was finally crowded out – and the resultant corner was headed narrowly wide.
Three minutes from the end,Queen’s almost snatched victory. Woods produced a peach of a cross and Galt got on the end of it to glance a header past Smith, but the lack of pace on the ball allowed Hill to get back and hoof the ball to safety.
That was our last real chance and we almost suffered heartbreak right at the death when a Brechin corner arrived right on the head of Hill, but he could only direct his effort over the top and we all breathed a sigh of relief.
There were no more scares at either end, and the final whistle sounded soon after to confirm that both sides would have to settle for a point apiece.
So we are now three games into the season and have won one, drawn one and lost one. Most in the Mount Florida camp would have settled for that before a ball was kicked, but we’ve got a couple of tough league matches ahead with Livingston next up at home before we head for Peterhead.
Yes, it’s early doors, but we certainly haven’t looked out of our depth thus far. Long may that continue. Keep the Faith.