ANNAN Athletic and Brechin City will reconvene at Glebe Park a week on Tuesday after a tightly-contested Scottish Cup fourth-round tie ended in stalemate.
Annan languish eighth in League Two, but it was almost impossible to tell that on-form League One side Brechin sit 13 places above them in Scottish football’s pecking order.
Even when City took the lead just before the break through defender Colin Hamilton, the hosts never looked out of it. And they kept themselves in with a shout of reaching the last 16 for the first time in their history when Matty Flynn, pictured, equalised on the hour mark. Both sides had chances to win it in a gripping final half hour, but the tie will now have to be decided in Angus in nine days’ time.
“A draw was probably a fair result in the end,” said Brechin manager Ray MacKinnon. “We live to fight another day in the cup and we’ll fancy our chances back up the road.”
Brechin were well contained by their hosts in the early exchanges, with their first effort on goal a speculative 45-yard half-volley from Alan Trouten which drifted just wide in 21 minutes. The visitors carved Annan open in 27 minutes when Bobby Barr burst down the left and cut the ball back for Andy Jackson, but the striker’s low shot from ten yards out was well saved by Alex Mitchell.
Brechin made the breakthrough in 42 minutes when Hamilton rose to head home a free-kick from Kyle McAusland. The League One side almost doubled their lead right on half time but Robert Thomson clipped Paul McLean’s cutback into the side netting.
The equaliser eventually came for Annan when Flynn beat keeper Graeme Smith to David Hopkirk’s cross and clipped it home from eight yards.
Barr almost restored Brechin’s lead two minutes later but Mitchell was equal to his low angled drive after he had jinked into the danger area.
Flynn went desperately close to edging Annan ahead in 72 minutes but his looping effort from the edge of the box was tipped over by Smith.
At the other end, Trouten blasted just over from the edge of the box in the 78th minute and Annan had another let-off in 83 minutes when Jackson smacked a shot against the post.