Brechin’s Darren Dods relishes battles with former clubs

Brechin City players celebrate winning promotion to the Championship after defeating Alloa on penalties. Picture: SNS.
Brechin City players celebrate winning promotion to the Championship after defeating Alloa on penalties. Picture: SNS.
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Brechin City manager Darren Dods will lead his side in the battle for Championship league points next season against his former playing clubs Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Falkirk, while another ex-employer, Dundee United, are also possible opponents after the Glebe Park men came out on top in a fantastic play-off struggle at Alloa.

Dods’ side, who had sent Raith Rovers tumbling into League 1 with a penalty-kick success last weekend, actually lost 4-3 to the Wasps, but they again triumphed via the 
shootout method with a 5-4 success.

The Brechin boss, pictured right, said: “The players deserve all the credit as they simply kept on going. No-one thought that we would come out on top of Raith but we took the game to them and won.

“We had this game won so many times and then always seemed to get pegged back. We put that behind us and I am delighted that we have secured promotion.

“I will be coming across some old faces and I am looking ­forward to it.”

Brechin had pitched up at the Indodrill Stadium one goal ahead and it looked like they were going to ease to promotion with 34 minutes gone when James Dale cut in and curled the ball into the top corner from 20 yards.

However, that goal brought Alloa alive and the aggregate score was 2-1 within two minutes when Graeme Spence drilled in a penalty after a handball by Paul McLean that his goalkeeper Graeme Smith would have been proud of.

Five minutes from the interval, Scott Taggart crossed from the right for Spence to glance a header home to tie the aggregate score.

Brechin got their noses ahead again nine minutes into the second half when McLean headed in a corner, but Alloa again refused to concede defeat and Spence completed his hat-trick with an overhead kick from six yards out 20 minutes later.

The excitement kept on coming and Liam Watt got in behind the Alloa defence on 78 minutes to crash a shot in via the bar to make the score in the game 3-3 and 4-3 to Brechin on aggregate.

The belief that the visitors would now hold on for the win was quickly smashed. Within 60 seconds Dylan Mackin sent a booming header into the net for Alloa’s fourth goal.

The remaining 11 minutes and 30 minutes of extra time failed to bring a decisive goal and penalties were called for to decide who would be promoted.

Alloa went first and Taggart scored, then Willie Dyer replied before Spence’s afternoon was spoiled when his effort was saved by Smith.

Dougie Hill took Brechin closer to the brink when he made it 2-1, but Jordan Kirkpatrick levelled matters before Andrew Jackson was denied.

Andrew Graham edged Alloa ahead, but Trouten replied and as it entered sudden death Calum Waters forced Ally Love to score when he made it 4-3 for the Wasps and Love was equal to the task.

Iain Flannigan’s effort struck a post and Dale secured Brechin’s promotion when he rolled his spot-kick past Neil Parry.

Alloa manager Jim Goodwin said: “It was a terrible way to lose and I really feel for the players who have been great for me all season.

“I have been in football for 20 years and this is the lowest I have felt.”