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Chris Ball - The European Journeyman

May 10, 2018
1,923
1,156
113
Edenbridge, Kent, UK
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October 2021

Scottish League Two – Matchday 8

Cowdenbeath vs Brechin City
Formation; 4-4-2, Mentality; Positive
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio, C.Taylor* (S.Bronsky 84), F.Duffy, R.Ferguson, G.Fisher, A.Park, L.Callaghan (C.Scullion 63), J.Skelly (R.Currie 63), C.Starrs

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We went behind 5 minutes into the 2nd half, against the run of play. However, my lads responded well and turned the game on its head over the next 14 minutes with goals from Cole Starrs and Cameron Taylor. We controlled the remainder of the game and never really looked like conceding an equalizer. A solid performance!

Scottish Cup – Second Round
Stenhousemuir vs Brechin City

Formation; 4-4-2, Mentality; Positive
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio, C.Taylor, F.Duffy, R.Ferguson, G.Fisher, A.Park, L.Callaghan, J.Skelly, C.Starrs

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We’ll need a replay to settle this one. How we didn’t win this game I don’t know! We had 17 shots against their 5 and 58% of the possession in this one….it should have been comfortable!

Scottish Cup – Second Round Replay
Brechin City vs Stenhousemuir

Formation; 4-4-2, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio (S.Bronsky 92), C.Taylor, F.Duffy, R.Ferguson*, G.Fisher, A.Park (B.Eardley 45), L.Callaghan (C.Scullion 105), J.Skelly (R.Currie 45), C.Starrs

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Exactly one week later, we played the replay. Same team but this time I had home advantage on our side. We were just as dominant as the week before (19 shots this time), but again failed to get the win in 90 minutes! However, the job was finally completed in extra time when centre back Stephen Bronsky came off the bench and scored only minutes later to ensure we progress to the next round.

We’ll now play Greenock Morton away in the next round.

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Scottish League Two – Matchday 9
Elgin City vs Brechin City

Formation; 4-4-2, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio, C.Taylor, F.Duffy, R.Ferguson, B.Eardley, A.Park, L.Callaghan (C.Scullion 50), R.Currie (J.Skelly 50), C.Starrs

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Another game that we dominated but did not win. My strikers are very hit and miss so far this season and it’s costing us points left, right and centre!

Scottish League Two – Matchday 10
Peterhead vs Brechin City

Formation; 4-4-2, Mentality; Positive (Attacking on 26 mins)
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio, C.Taylor, F.Duffy, R.Ferguson (M.Munro 37), G.Fisher, B.Eardley (L.Callaghan 59), C.Scullion, R.Currie (P.Nawrocki 76), C.Starrs

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Peterhead battered us on the opening day of the season, putting 5 past us in the process! And they were again too good for us here, although we managed to keep the scoreline a little more respectable this time…progress?

Injury; Ryan Ferguson is out top assister this season so far, with 4, so he’ll surely be missed over the next couple of games!

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We’re still in touch with the top 4, but the 9 point gap that is already opening up between us and leaders Annan Athletic means we probably won’t be title challengers this season (not that that was ever expected).

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Player of the Month
Ryan Ferguson (Form; 7.5, 7.2, 8.3, 6.8, 6.8)


Ferguson has had a good month with three really good performances before a couple of average ones (possibly would have been better in the last game without going off injured on 37 mins).

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Some tough games coming up next month and another venture into the Scottish Cup. I’m targeting 2 wins from our 4 league games next month which should be enough to keep us flirting with the top 4 in the league.

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May 10, 2018
1,923
1,156
113
Edenbridge, Kent, UK
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November 2021

Scottish League Two – Matchday 11

Brechin City vs Edinburgh City
Formation; 4-4-2, Mentality; Positive
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, S.Bronsky, C.Taylor, F.Duffy, M.Munro (C.Coupe 62), G.Fisher, B.Eardley, C.Scullion (L.Callaghan 73), P.Nawrocki*, C.Starrs

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Last time we played Edinburgh, we took a 4-0 lead into half time and ended up drawing the game 4-4!! This time, again we led at half time, albeit by only a 2-0 scoreline! Anticipating that Edinburgh would come at us again, just as they did last time, I told the lads to keep focused at half time and not let their performances drop! It seemed to do the job as we immediately came out and added a 3rd to extend our lead, when Nawrocki found himself clean through on goal and slotted home calmly. Edinburgh did go on to get a couple of goals back, but Nawrocki had the last laugh when he completed his hat trick in stoppage time and ensured we walked away with all 3 points! A big, big victory!

Scottish League Two – Matchday 12
Brechin City vs Albion Rovers

Formation; 4-4-2, Mentality; Positive (Attacking on 45 mins)
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, S.Bronsky, L.Bollan, F.Duffy, M.Munro (C.Coupe 88), G.Fisher, B.Eardley, C.Scullion (L.Callaghan 59), P.Nawrocki (R.Currie 59), C.Starrs

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By the time Albion took the lead with their first shot of the game on 29 mins, we had already had 11 attempts at their goal, so to say it was against the run of play would be an understatement. By half time, we’d had 15 shots to their 1….so my team talk was simply to keep the lads believing that if we carried on in this vein, we’d surely get something from this game. We came out strong in the 2nd half and were piling on the pressure coming close to scoring twice, before they caught us on the break and scored again with only their 2nd shot in the game…unbelievable! We did manage to put the ball in the net once, but it wasn’t enough!

Honestly, how the h3ll did we not win that game!! Just look at the stats!!

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Scottish League Two – Matchday 13
Stenhousemuir vs Brechin City

Formation; 4-4-2, Mentality; Attacking (Positive on 61 mins)
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, S.Bronsky, C.Taylor, F.Duffy, M.Munro (C.Coupe 84), G.Fisher, B.Eardley (A.Park 72), C.Scullion, P.Nawrocki (K.Paton 61), C.Starrs

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It was probably nailed on that this one would finish a draw as our previous three meetings this season have finished 1-1, 1-1 and 0-0. Again this was a very tightly contested game, with neither team ever really having any dominant periods of play and a draw was probably fair at the end of the day.

Scottish Cup – Third Round
Greenock Morton vs Brechin City

Formation; 4-4-2, Mentality; Positive
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, S.Bronsky, C.Taylor, C.O’Neil, M.Munro (C.Coupe 59), G.Fisher, B.Eardley, L.Callaghan (C.Scullion 59), K.Paton, C.Starrs (R.Currie 59)

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The League One side were far too strong for us and dominated for large periods of the game. The scoreline didn’t flatter them and was a true reflection of how dominant they were and how far off League One level we still are!

Scottish League Two – Matchday 14
Annan Athletic vs Brechin City

Formation; 4-3-1-2 Asymetric, Mentality; Balanced (Cautious on 26 mins, Defensive on 86 mins, Cautious on 88 mins)
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio, C.Taylor, F.Duffy, G.Fisher, B.Eardley (M.Munro 82), C.Scullion, R.Ferguson, C.Starrs, J.Skelly (R.Currie 60)

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It looked like we were going to get a smash n grab win here against the league leaders when Rory Currie put us in front with only minutes remaining. It would have been a proper smash n grab too as Annan had over 30 shots in the game against our 8! However, it wasn’t to be as they went straight down the other end and Nathan Flanagan scored a cracker from 25 yards that we could do nothing about!

We’ve learnt two things so far this season. We are proving very tough to beat, having only lost 3 times in 14 games, but we are also finding it very hard to win, having only recorded 3 victories all season. I feel like the season is teetering on the edge of going one way or the other….we’ll either string together some wins and move into the top 4, or we’ll string together some defeats and drop into the relegation scrap.

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Player of the Month
Cameron Taylor (Form; 7.9, N/A, 7.0, 6.9, 7.1)


Again the captain is the best player in the team across the course of the month. Some solid enough performances at the heart of the defence means Taylor takes this award yet again!

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We play two teams next month that are below us in the league in Cowdenbeath and Stranraer….these have to be seen as must win games for us!

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May 10, 2018
1,923
1,156
113
Edenbridge, Kent, UK
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December 2021

Scottish League Two – Matchday 15
Brechin City vs Stirling Albion

Formation; 4-3-1-2 Asymetric (4-4-2 Flat on 65 mins), Mentality; Balanced (Attacking on 30 mins)
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio, C.Taylor, F.Duffy, G.Fisher, B.Eardley, C.Scullion, R.Ferguson (M.Munro 65), C.Starrs, J.Skelly (R.Currie 56)

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Not good enough. We were never really in this game and I’m becoming a little disheartened with our lack of progress on last season!

Feeling a little down in the dumps, I decide to throw my hat in the ring for another job as I feel like I need a new challenge. The Stockport County job is going at the moment, and I send off my CV to see if they’d consider me.

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Within a couple of days, Stockport quickly reject me. Not even making the shortlist for a club in the Vanarama National League is quite disappointing and the realism hits home that I really haven’t achieved anything yet! Looks like I’m remaining at Brechin for the foreseeable!

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Scottish League Two – Matchday 16
Brechin City vs Cowdenbeath

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio, C.Taylor*, F.Duffy, K.Inglis, M.Munro, L.Callghan, G.Fisher, R.Currie (C.Starrs 62), K.Paton

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I’ve noticed that most teams in this league seem to be playing with an AMC, and in most games this player seems to be running a mock with us! So I decided to change things up a little and try a diamond formation, with a DM to man mark this role out of the game (hopefully). It worked a treat here as we smothered their AMC and he wasn’t in the game. However, we won’t get carried away with ourselves here as this still wasn’t the most convincing victory (despite the scoreline) over a club below us in the league who were down to 10 men on 64 mins.

Well that’s lifted my spirits a little bit. The board have finally agreed to fund my first ever coaching badge! Maybe my lack of progress in taking the club forward means they’re not so worried about losing me to another club now?

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Scottish League Two – Matchday 17
Stranraer vs Brechin City

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio (S.Bronsky 57), C.Taylor, F.Duffy, K.Inglis (R.Ferguson 57), M.Munro, L.Callghan, G.Fisher, R.Currie*, K.Paton

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No changes to a winning side as we line up the same as we did against Cowdenbeath. My pre match team talk was to tell the lads to pick up where they left off, and they did exactly that as we record a comfortable 2-0 over Stranraer. This was as comfortable as you like too, with them never troubling our goal.

Scottish League Two – Matchday 18
Brechin City vs Elgin City

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio, C.Taylor, F.Duffy, K.Inglis, M.Munro*, L.Callghan, G.Fisher (B.Eardley 67), R.Currie, K.Paton (J.Skelly 73)

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Our Boxing Day fixture was a big one at home to 7th placed Elgin City, who were definitely underperforming so far this season! And we piled on the misery for them this Xmas by giving them a footballing lesson as we cruised to a 3-0 win. Easy as you like and the result never looked in doubt! My team is finally starting to hit some form this season!

Injury; It wasn’t all good news from the Elgin game though, as we lose Kane Paton to injury for up to 6 weeks.

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Three league wins in a row is still not enough to see us enter the top 4, but at the half way stage of the season, we are still very much in touch, and now well clear of bottom side, Stenhousemuir.

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Player of the Month
Cameron Taylor (Form; 7.6, 8.8, 7.6, 7.2)


This kid is just immense!

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Taylor also took the league award for Player of the Month

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Which he dedicated to me!

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Whilst I landed my first Manager of the Month accolade for the season.

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January looks like a tough month as we will play four of the top five in the league. However, we win a couple of these and it could see us move into the playoff spots for the first time this season!

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May 10, 2018
1,923
1,156
113
Edenbridge, Kent, UK
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January 2022

Scottish League Two – Matchday 19

Brechin City vs Peterhead
Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio, C.Taylor, F.Duffy, K.Inglis (B.Eardley 60), M.Munro*, L.Callghan, G.Fisher, R.Currie, C.Starrs (P.Nawrocki 60)

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BOOM! What a final few minutes as we completely turned this game on it’s head to record our first win over Peterhead this season, after losing twice already! Marky Munro has hit a little run of goalscoring form and certainly seems to be enjoying his new role in the diamond formation.

Scottish League Two – Matchday 20
Brechin City vs Stenhousemuir

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio (S.Bronsky 61), C.Taylor, F.Duffy, K.Inglis (B.Eardley 61), M.Munro, L.Callghan, G.Fisher, R.Currie, P.Nawrocki (J.Skelly 61)

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I’m extremely disappointed to follow up a win against the league leaders with only a draw against the bottom side. Stenhousemuir got away with one here as we dominated the entire game, having 18 shots to their 4!!

Scottish League Two – Matchday 21
Edinburgh City vs Brechin City

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio*, C.Taylor, F.Duffy, B.Eardley, M.Munro, L.Callghan, K.Inglis, R.Currie, P.Nawrocki

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Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! We were absolutely fantastic here as we took our chances well and defended excellently! We frustrated their front men all day long, whilst making the most of our own opportunities in front of goal. Possibly our best performance of the season!

Scottish League Two – Matchday 22
Albion Rovers vs Brechin City

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio (S.Bronsky 63), C.Taylor, F.Duffy, B.Eardley, M.Munro, L.Callghan, G.Fisher, R.Currie, P.Nawrocki (C.Starrs 63)

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Again we follow up a fantastic win, with a rather drab draw! We were well on top throughout as well so it is a game we really should have taken all 3 points from and it’s definitely a case of 2 points dropped here!

Scottish League Two – Matchday 23
Brechin City vs Annan Athletic

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio, C.Taylor, B.Luissint, B.Eardley, M.Munro, L.Callghan, G.Fisher (K.Inglis 67), R.Currie* (J.Skelly 78), P.Nawrocki

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Annan Athletic have led the way in the league for more than half the season this year, so are making a real go of their promotion bid! So that makes this win even better and massive for us in the grand scheme of things! Both Rory Currie and Przemyslaw Nawrocki were both on fire here!

Incoming Loan; Jack Maciver (AMC)
Signed From; Aberdeen, Monthly Fee; £0, Salary Contribution; £0


On transfer deadline day, I was keen to add another attacking player to the ranks, particularly someone who could cover the new AMC role we are playing in the diamond formation. Jack was available on loan from Aberdeen and after a failed bid to sign him on a permanent deal, I settled for bring him until the end of the season on a temporary basis.

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Released; Josh Skelly (ST)

The man I brought in at the start of the season that I thought would be our best striker, has been nothing short of a major disappointment after scoring only once in 13 appearances! He’s not worth the £130 p/w we were paying him, so I terminated his contract with immediate effect for a fee of £3.5k.

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With a solid month of football behind us and some really good results, we are up to 2nd in the league and have firmly put ourselves amongst not only the playoff mix, but the title mix as well.

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Player of the Month
Przemyslaw Nawrocki (Form; 7.9, 6.6, 7.7, 6.3, 7.7)


Nawrocki has chipped in with no fewer than 5 goals in 5 games this month, as well as an assist. He hasn’t been first choice up front for most of the season so far, but is certainly ensuring he is one of the first names on the teamsheet at the moment!

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Back to back manager of the month awards for me!

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As we look ahead to next month’s fixtures, we will be looking to extend our current run of 8 games unbeaten and ensure we keep up our title challenge for as long as possible.

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May 10, 2018
1,923
1,156
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Edenbridge, Kent, UK
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February 2022

Scottish League Two – Matchday 24
Stirling Albion vs Brechin City

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio, S.Bronsky, B.Luissint, B.Eardley, M.Munro, L.Callghan (C.Coupe 77), G.Fisher (J.Maciver 77), R.Currie*, P.Nawrocki

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With the league being as close as it is, every single win is going to be so important between now and the end of the season, starting with this one right here which puts 4 points between us and Stirling at full time. It was all over by half time here after we raced to a 4-0 lead by the break. We stepped off the gas in the 2nd half with the job already done, which kept the scoreline from being a complete embarrassment for our opponents!

Scottish League Two – Matchday 25
Brechin City vs Stranraer

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio, S.Bronsky, B.Luissint, B.Eardley (G.Fisher 52), M.Munro, L.Callghan, J.Maciver, R.Currie, P.Nawrocki* (K.Paton 52)

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We’d recorded three straight wins against Stranraer prior to today’s match, scoring 10 goals in the process, so I felt confident going into this one. And I was right to as we were on top form once again, smashing another 4 past them. In 3 of our last 4 matches against Stranraer, we’ve now scored 4 goals!!

Scottish League Two – Matchday 26
Cowdenbeath vs Brechin City

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio, C.Taylor, B.Luissint, B.Eardley, M.Munro*, L.Callghan (G.Fisher 60), J.Maciver, R.Currie (K.Paton 63), P.Nawrocki (C.Starrs 63)

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That’s the fourth game in a row that we have scored 4 or more goals now as we look absolute dynamite going forward! I don’t wanna jinx it, but we might even be installing ourselves as the title favourites with our current form!!

Scottish League Two – Matchday 27
Elgin City vs Brechin City
Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio*, C.Taylor, B.Luissint, B.Eardley, M.Munro, L.Callghan, J.Maciver (G.Fisher 80), R.Currie (K.Paton 80), P.Nawrocki

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We were very average in the first half in this game and possibly should have gone into the break behind after Elgin missed a couple of good chances. However, a firm kick up the jacksy at half time seemed to liven my lads up and we produced a much better 2nd half, scoring three and taking another big 3 points!

Just want to point out how impressive my two strikers (from last season) are doing and how they deserve to be holding down their starting lineup spots at the moment. Both Currie and Nawrocki are in the top 10 scorers for the division, and both of them have a minutes per goal ratio of less than 90 minutes!!

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Say we are top of the league, say we are top of the league!! Oi oi, this is the first time in my career I’ve been at the top of the pile and not only that, we’re clear by 4 points!!! A playoff spot looks like it has to be an absolute minimum for us this year now!

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Rory Currie lifts the player of the month award for League Two, after scoring 5 goals in his last 4 games! Przemyslaw Nawrocki actually scored 6, but came runner up to his strike partner.

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I complete a hat trick of manager of the month awards, as my stock in Scottish football has got to be growing by the month!

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Player of the Month
Przemyslaw Nawrocki (Form; 7.3, 8.7, 7.4, 7.1)


He may have missed out on the league award to Rory Currie, but Przemyslaw takes my award for his extra goal this month and also for more consistent performances (Currie had a 6.5 rating in there).

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All that remains now is to play everyone 1 more time and next month we will play the sides in 2nd and 3rd in the league, which could shape the title race for the last few matches in April.

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May 10, 2018
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March 2022

Scottish League Two – Matchday 28

Peterhead vs Brechin City
Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio, C.Taylor, B.Luissint (F.Duffy 63), B.Eardley, M.Munro, L.Callghan, J.Maciver*, R.Currie, P.Nawrocki (K.Paton 63)

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A massive game in the title race between 1st and 2nd in the table, and we come up trumps! In all fairness, they were probably the more dominant team with 18 shots on our goal, but we took our chances when they came and nick a massive, massive win, which puts clear daylight between us and our nearest rivals.

Scottish League Two – Matchday 29
Stenhousemuir vs Brechin City

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio, C.Taylor, B.Luissint, B.Eardley (L.Callaghan 61), M.Munro, G.Fisher, J.Maciver, R.Currie (C.Starrs 61), P.Nawrocki*

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It’s no secret that we’ve struggled to get the better of Stenhousemuir over our last few meetings, drawing 4 of the last 5 (winning the other), so I knew this was a potential banana skin for us, despite them being bottom of the league! However, I was wrong to feel apprehensive as we never looked in doubt of beating the side that prop up the league this time round!

Scottish League Two – Matchday 30
Brechin City vs Edinburgh City

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, G.Pascazio (S.Bronsky 73), C.Taylor, B.Luissint, B.Eardley, M.Munro, G.Fisher, J.Maciver, K.Paton (C.Starrs 73), P.Nawrocki (R.Currie 73)

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Our poorest performance for a long time results in our first defeat in 15 games!! Let’s hope we can pick ourselves up quickly and recover from this and keep out title dream alive!

Injury;
A big blow as I lose one of my centre back pairing to injury for potentially the rest of the season!

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Scottish League Two – Matchday 31
Brechin City vs Albion Rovers

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, S.Bronsky, C.Taylor, F.Duffy (C.O’Neil 62), G.Fisher, M.Munro, L.Callaghan, J.Maciver, C.Starrs (R.Currie 62), P.Nawrocki

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Are the wheels coming off?! Are we going to throw away this league title?! We were 3-0 up and cruising inside 16 minutes here, and went on to lose the game 4-3! This is worse than earlier in the season when we threw a 4-0 lead to draw 4-4 with Edinburgh! We need to pick ourselves up and fast!!

Five games to go and we hold a five point lead at the top of the table! It really is all in our own hands right now and we’ll only have ourselves to blame if we don’t lift the winner’s trophy at the end of next month!

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Player of the Month
Przemyslaw Nawrocki (Form; 6.5, 8.6, 6.5, 7.7)


Two good performances from Nawrocki and 5 goals in 4 games was enough for him to secure my player of the month again.

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April will see us play our final 5 games of the season! 4 wins will definitely be enough, but I think 3 will probably win us the title! No excuses…let’s get down to business!

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May 10, 2018
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April 2022

Scottish League Two – Matchday 32

Brechin City vs Stirling Albion
Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, L.Bollan, C.Taylor*, C.O’Neil, G.Fisher (B.Eardley 77), M.Munro, L.Callaghan, J.Maciver, R.Currie (K.Paton 68), P.Nawrocki

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We came into this game knowing that a win would put Stirling Albion out of the title race and it would be one less team for us to worry about in the chasing pack! Now it certainly wasn’t the most convincing of wins, but right now we’ll take every win we can get no matter how ugly it is!

With other teams dropping points over the weekend, it meant that our next game against Annan Athletic became even bigger! A win could all but seal the title for us as I think the gap would be too much for anyone to close with 3 games left!

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Scottish League Two – Matchday 33
Annan Athletic vs Brechin City

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, L.Bollan, C.Taylor*, C.O’Neil, G.Fisher, M.Munro, L.Callaghan, J.Maciver, R.Currie, P.Nawrocki (K.Paton 68)

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Our biggest game of the year and we absolutely turned up!! We outplayed Annan from start to finish and the ball over the top caught them out time and time again, with 3 of our 4 goals coming this way! Cameron Taylor may have got the man of the match but it was Jack Maciver’s passing that was a joy to behold through the match and he was my personal stand out player!

With other results over the weekend, we now sit 8 points clear at the top with only 3 games going. With our superior goal difference as well, it’s safe to say that a single point from any of these last 3 matches will secure us the title.

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Scottish League Two – Matchday 34
Stranraer vs Brechin City
Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, L.Bollan, C.Taylor, C.O’Neil (F.Duffy 45), G.Fisher, M.Munro, K.Inglis, J.Maciver, R.Currie, P.Nawrocki (K.Paton 45)

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Well Stranraer clearly didn’t get the memo did they?! We were bl00dy hopeless here and our opponents ran a mock! I don’t know if it was the nerves of the occasion, or just an off day, but we were quite simply thrashed!

Scottish League Two – Matchday 35

Brechin City vs Cowdenbeath
Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, L.Bollan, C.Taylor, C.O’Neil, G.Fisher (B.Eardley 88), M.Munro (C.Coupe 61), L.Callaghan, J.Maciver, R.Currie, K.Paton (P.Nawrocki 61)

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Oh dear me…surely we’re not going to go right down to the final day of the season to win this division….more importantly, surely we’re not going to throw an 8 point lead away and miss out on lifting the title?!

Well, the answer was no!! Despite losing our last two games, results went our way and with a game remaining, we have lifted the title in my second season!!!

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The plaudits quickly started coming my way!!

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With the title in the bag, I thought now was the time to ask the board to fund another coaching course for me….I mean, how could they say no?

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Scottish League Two – Matchday 36
Brechin City vs Elgin City
Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.Macpherson, L.Bollan, C.Taylor, F.Duffy, G.Fisher (B.Eardley 75), M.Munro, L.Callaghan, J.Maciver, R.Currie (P.Nawrocki 75), K.Paton (C.Starrs 75)

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The only loss of my career to date that I honestly couldn’t give two craps about! It would have been nice to give the fans a good end of season send off, but considering we’ve been getting smashed off our faces for the last few days, we did well to only lose 2-0 ?

Confirmation of the final league table and we finished up top of the pile by 2 points in the end. Annan, Peterhead and Edinburgh will contest the playoffs, whilst Stenhousemuir will contest the relegation playoff and were never even close to surviving this year!

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Player of the Month
Jack Maciver (7.9, 6.9, 7.1, 6.2)


Nobody was outstanding this month, but the young loanee gets my POM for his goal and two assists in a month where we suffered 3 defeats and most of the team was pretty mediocre.

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leckuno

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Excellent to see you lift the title with Brechin even if you did try your best to bottle it over the last 3 games. Will a better job come up over the summer or are you going to stick it out for a bit longer
 
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End of Season Review/May 2022

I added some important players to the squad last Summer and the likes of Joe MacPherson, Dale Burgess and Gary Fiisher were all first team regulars and played big parts in our success this year. Jack MacIver’s addition in January was a welcome boost and he made a solid contribution with 3 goals and 5 assists in just 13 appearances.

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It really was a season to remember! We really didn’t start the campaign well, with only 3 wins in our opening 13 games, but a excellent mid season run spearheaded us to the top of the table and a title winning season!

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Not sure I’d agree that the Kelty Hearts win was the match to remember, but that 5-2 win over Annan Athletic in the league was certainly one of our most impressive league wins!

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Finances are on the up, with some significant prize money coming into the club from winning the title (well for this level anyway). Match day commercial and retail income nearly doubled on last year as well, with our extra success.

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Despite three new strikers coming into the club throughout this season, it was the two lads from last year that proved to be the best partnership again! Other than the front two, only Pascazio at centre back is a player that I inherited as manager. Everyone else, I’ve brought in, so this very much is ‘my’ team.

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On awards night, it was a repeat of last year with Cameron Taylor taking both the fan’s player and young player awards. Goalkeeper, Burgess, was the signing of the season and I’d probably agree with that as he certainly solidified things up at the back for us.

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Dale Burgess, Joe MacPherson, Cameron Taylor, Marky Munro, Rory Currie and Przemyslaw Nawrocki all made the League Two Team of the Season!

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May 10, 2018
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Excellent to see you lift the title with Brechin even if you did try your best to bottle it over the last 3 games. Will a better job come up over the summer or are you going to stick it out for a bit longer
We really did try to throw it away!! LOL! Be interesting to see if anyone comes in for me, but I don't hold out major hopes as my coaching badges are still pretty rubbish at the moment. I'm quite happy to start another season with Brechin and see how we far in League One though if nobody else comes in for me.
 

HUNTY

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Jul 5, 2011
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Love reading your stories!! ?? Looking forward to seeing what happens next.
Just wanted to ask what set up whether it’s laptop or PC ?
I haven’t got Fm21 as my laptop was unbearable with FM20 so slow even with only a couple leagues loaded. Thanks
 
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Love reading your stories!! ?? Looking forward to seeing what happens next.
Just wanted to ask what set up whether it’s laptop or PC ?
I haven’t got Fm21 as my laptop was unbearable with FM20 so slow even with only a couple leagues loaded. Thanks
Appreciate the kind words!

I'm on a laptop mate. My old one used to struggle, but forked out a few hundred quid for a better laptop earlier in the year and never had problems since. FM is my fave game so was worth the investment (I don't really use my laptop for anything else).
 
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HUNTY

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Appreciate the kind words!

I'm on a laptop mate. My old one used to struggle, but forked out a few hundred quid for a better laptop earlier in the year and never had problems since. FM is my fave game so was worth the investment (I don't really use my laptop for anything else).
Thanks for the reply mate! Yeah I’ve been researching laptops that are supposedly good for FM as I’m desperate to play it - just can’t afford a new one at the moment. Seems like forming out for a decent one is the way forward though.
 
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June 2022

Incoming Loan; Fergus Owens (CB)
Signed From; Hamilton, Monthly Fee; £0, Salary Contribution; £0

With promotion to League One, I knew we’d need to strengthen the squad for the season ahead and the first signing of the Summer is centre back Fergus Owens, who joins on a season long loan from Hamilton. The 19 year old has some solid defensive stats and is a welcome addition to the back line. He played 14 times for Dumbarton in League One last season (on loan), so has experience at this level too.

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Incoming Transfer; John Moreland (MR/AMR)
Signed From; Free Agent, Fee; Free Transfer, Contract; 3 years (£120 p/w)


My first permanent signing of the window is John Moreland who comes in on a free after being released by St Johnstone. The youngster is still to make a competitive appearance in his career to date, but I feel confident he can make a contribution for us and kick start his pro career this year.

moreland.jpg


Incoming Transfer; Aaron Steele (LB)
Signed From; Free Agent, Fee; Free Transfer, Contract; 2 years (£70 p/w)


20 year old left back, Aaron Steele comes in on a free after also being let go from St Johnstone. Just like his old teammate John Moreland (above), he is yet to make a competitive appearance so is classed as a bit of a risk, but again I’m confident he can be an asset for us.

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Incoming Loan; Mo Urquhart (ST)
Signed From; Celtic, Monthly Fee; £0, Salary Contribution; £0


Even at just 17 years of age, Mo looks like one for the future and he can make a name for himself this season with us. He’ll get plenty of opportunities for us down at this level to show what he can do.

urquhart.jpg


Incoming Loan; David Tremble (DM/MC)
Signed From; Queen of the South, Monthly Fee; £0, Salary Contribution; £0


Another 17 year old that looks like he could have a decent future in the game is David Tremble. The central midfielder has some great mental stats for someone so young and combined with a decent eye for a pass, I am hoping he can make an impact on the first team squad this year.

tremble.jpg


Incoming Transfer; Fraser MacLeod (AMC/ST)
Signed From; Clyde, Fee: Free Transfer, Contract; 2 years (£140 p/w)


One of the areas of the squad I was short on options was in the AMC role. I’ll be honest – my options in the transfer market were very limited as well and I’d still like to improve this position. However, for now Fraser MacLeod comes in and can hopefully do a job for us even if just in the interim. He played 13 times at this level for Clyde last year, but worryingly didn’t score a single goal or get an assist.

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The board’s expectations for the upcoming season are very realistic to be honest. Fight bravely against relegation and just a competitive showing in the cups is all that is required.

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For the third season in a row, we have been drawn against Brora Rangers in the group stage of the Betfred Cup. We also played Raith last year too. As per the past two seasons, I certainly don’t expect to qualify from this group, but to pick up a couple of wins would be nice.

betfred draw.jpg


Our first league game in League One will be away at Montrose, before 3 home matches. We will look to make as positive a start to the campaign as possible, but we haven’t exactly been fast starters in the league competition over the past 2 years, so I don’t hold high hopes.

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I signed a new 2 year deal with the club. Deep down, I’m hoping that a bigger club will come in for me over the next 12 months or so though, if I can prove myself at this higher level.

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Our first two friendlies of the pre season were chalk n cheese really. The first was an underwhelming 0-0 draw against non league opposition, whilst the second was an absolute goal fest as we battered Lothian Thistle 7-0!

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July 2022

Three more friendlies out the way before the Betfred Cup Group Stage kicks off. A good showing against Dundee United, before a great win against Monaco’s second string finished off with a routine win against non league Spartans.

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Betfred Cup – Group Stage Matchday 1
Inverness vs Brechin City

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.MacPherson, F.Owens, C.Taylor, A.Steele, D.Tremble (B.Eardley 62), M.Munro, L.Callaghan, F.MacLeod, K.Paton, M.Urquhart (P.Nawrocki 62)

inverness.jpg


We opened our Betfred Cup account with a defeat away at Inverness…it can be forgiven, given that they are a Championship club! We weren’t terrible either in all fairness…don’t get me wrong, we didn’t deserve to win or anything, but we definitely made them work for it.

Betfred Cup – Group Stage Matchday 2
Brechin City vs Cowdenbeath

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.MacPherson, F.Owens, C.Taylor*, A.Steele, D.Tremble (B.Eardley 66), C.Coupe, K.Inglis, F.MacLeod, K.Paton, M.Urquhart (P.Nawrocki 66)

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Our 24 attempts at goal to their 5 demonstrates our complete dominance in this game. However, we struggled in front of goal and only managed to nick the one goal through a Cameron Taylor header from a corner. Although it was enough to take the win.

This fan got it spot on with his Twitter post…

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Betfred Cup – Group Stage Matchday 3
Raith Rovers vs Brechin City

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.MacPherson (G.Pascazio 72), F.Owens, C.Taylor, A.Steele, B.Eardley, M.Munro (C.Coupe 72), L.Callaghan, F.MacLeod, K.Paton (R.Currie 87), M.Urquhart*

raith.jpg


I’d have taken a draw before the game obviously, but I can’t help but feel slightly robbed of the win here after we went 2-0 up and then 3-2 up against the Premiership side! A monumental effort from my lads and I’m extremely proud. Just a shame we couldn’t win the shootout and take the bonus point.

Betfred Cup – Group Stage Matchday 4
Brechin City vs Brora Rangers

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.MacPherson, F.Owens, G.Pascazio*, A.Steele, B.Eardley, M.Munro, K.Inglis, C.Coupe, K.Paton, M.Urquhart (P.Nawrocki 61)

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A good win to round off the group stages of the competition and our first win over Brora in 3 attempts. Progress?

A respectable enough showing in the Betfred Cup this year as we finish 3rd in our group with 7 points…more than the previous two seasons put together. First of the board’s expectations for the season ticked off.

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Season ticket sales are on the up!

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The draw for the second round of the Challenge Cup pits us against Falkirk’s second string…a game I’d expect us to win!

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As the newly promoted clubs, it’s us and Annan that are the hot favourites to go straight back down. Morton and Queen of the South are expected to contest the title, although there are a few sides apparently seen as not too far behind them. Morton have the highest contribution to the media dream eleven squad, with 4 players.

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Scottish League One – Matchday 1
Montrose vs Brechin City

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.MacPherson, G.Pascazio, C.Taylor, A.Steele, B.Eardley, J.Moreland (M.Munro 67), L.Callaghan, F.MacLeod, K.Paton, M.Urquhart*

montrose.jpg


A perfect start to life in League One as 17 year old Mo Urquhart’s strike was enough to secure us a 1-0 victory on the opening day over our fiercest local rivals. A solid defensive performance from my team as we keep that all important clean sheet!

I wasn’t going to show the league table after just 1 game, but this is the highest we might be in the league all year, so enjoy…

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Player of the Month
Dale Burgess (Form; 6.7, 7.2, 6.6, 7.5, 7.0)


Most players had one or two good games this month, but goalkeeper Burgess was the most consistent of all.

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Four home games coming up in August and we have to use that to our advantage and hopefully get some more early points on the board.

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August 2022

Scottish League One – Matchday 2
Brechin City vs Airdrieonians
Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.MacPherson, G.Pascazio, C.Taylor, A.Steele, B.Eardley (D.Tremble 68), J.Moreland, L.Callaghan, F.MacLeod, K.Paton, M.Urquhart (C.Starrs 68)

airdrieonians.jpg


This was a proper back and forth game….they led, we led, they led again, we pulled it back! In the end though, they prevailed in a game that could have gone either way. Plenty of good stuff from my lads here again though and encouraging signs that we won’t be the whipping boys in this division.

Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup – Second Round
Brechin City vs Falkirk Reserves

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.MacPherson, F.Owens, C.Taylor, B.Luissint, D.Tremble, M.Munro, L.Callaghan (A.Steele 30), F.MacLeod*, P.Nawrocki, M.Urquhart (C.Starrs 45)

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A shocking goalkeeper error allowed us to take the lead inside 15 minutes. Their keeper came out to sweep up a long ball over the top and completely missed it, leaving Fraser MacLeod to tap into an open goal for his first for the club. Nawrocki doubled our lead just before the break and we went into half time looking comfortable. There wasn’t a lot of action in the 2nd half and the score remained the same to see us progress to the next round.

A tough draw away at Hearts in the next round.

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Scottish League One – Matchday 3
Brechin City vs Forfar Athletic

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking (Positive on 85 mins)
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.MacPherson, F.Owens, C.Taylor, A.Steele, B.Eardley, J.Moreland (M.Munro 68), K.Inglis, F.MacLeod, K.Paton (P.Nawrocki 68), M.Urquhart

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The longer this game went on, the more I felt that Forfar were there for the taking. We ramped up our pressure on them throughout the 2nd half and eventually took the lead with only a few minutes remaining. From then, it was about holding on, but we just couldn’t do it as they equalized deep into stoppage time. Gutting!

Scottish League One – Matchday 4
Brechin City vs Alloa Athletic

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.MacPherson, F.Owens, C.Taylor (Sent Off 72), B.Luissint (A.Steele 80), B.Eardley, J.Moreland, L.Callaghan, F.MacLeod, K.Paton (G.Pascazio 72), M.Urquhart*

alloa.jpg


Luckily, we’d already dealt the blow to Alloa by the time captain Cameron Taylor was sent off in the 72nd minute. We composed ourselves well for them final 18 minutes though and held firm to take a big win and continue our decent start to life in League One.

Scottish League One – Matchday 5
Cove Rangers vs Brechin City

Formation; 4-4-2 Diamond, Mentality; Attacking
Lineup; D.Burgess, J.MacPherson, F.Owens, G.Pascazio, B.Luissint, B.Eardley, J.Moreland (M.Munro 87), L.Callaghan, F.MacLeod, P.Nawrocki, M.Urquhart (C.Starrs 87)

cove rangers.jpg


Cove Rangers came into this game top of the league after an unbeaten start to the season, and it only took 21 seconds for them to take the lead against us!! However, we responded really well and within 4 minutes we were back on level terms, as Przemyslaw Nawrocki repaid my faith in giving him a start with a goal. Fraser MacLeod had us in front before the 20 minute mark and we went on to dominate most of the match. However, Cove weren’t ready to lose their unbeaten start just yet and for the 2nd game in a row we concede a stoppage time equalizer and only walk away with a point when we definitely deserved all 3!

Incoming Transfer; Kyle Bell (MC/AMC)
Signed From; Free Agent, Fee; Free Transfer, Contract; 2 years (£110 p/w)


As we entered transfer deadline day, there was only one role I still didn’t feel we had efficient cover for and that was the AMC position. I therefore moved to bring in Kyle Bell on a free after his release from East Fife in the Summer. He played 29 times for them in League One last season so has plenty of experience to offer for us and I’m sure he has improved the squad with his arrival.

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A really solid start to our League One campaign with only 1 loss in our opening 5 matches. We are bang in mid table, and a good 5 points clear of them bottom 2 places!

Player of the Month
Przemyslaw Nawrocki (Form; N/A, 7.2, 7.2, N/A, 7.0)


He may have only played 3 games this month, but Nawrocki scored in all 3 of those appearances and his goals were imperative to putting more points on the board, so he gets the POM award.

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We kick off next month with a really tough game away at Hearts in the Challenge Cup before 3 league matches. It’s going to be a tough month ahead, with only one game in front of our own fans.

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