First Div play-offs: Brechin send Cowdenbeath down and set up showdown with Ayr

It will be an east versus west contest to decide which club makes it through to play in the First Division next season, with Brechin City and Ayr United winning their play-off semi-finals on Saturday.

Jim Weir's Brechin left Cowdenbeath stunned and relegated thanks to their 2-0 win at Central Park, which sealed a 4-2 aggregate score while Ayr drew 3-3 with Forfar at Somerset Park for a 7-4 aggregate win following 4-1 midweek success at Station Park.

Brechin had looked dead and buried at half time of Wednesday night's first leg as Cowdenbeath raced into a two-goal half-time lead, but they battled back to tie the score before the final whistle and on Saturday they completed their recovery with two goals in the last 12 minutes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The first came just six minutes after the home side's John Armstrong had a header hacked off the line by veteran Roy McBain although it was not a thing of beauty.

Full back Andrew Cook broke forward and picked out midfielder Jamie Redman in the box and he miscued an effort that spun past goalkeeper David Hay at his left-hand post.

The highly sought-after Rory McAllister showed there is more to his game than goals five minutes later when he picked out Craig Molloy with a defence-splitting pass and the former St Mirren and Stenhousemuir midfielder took his time before firing past Hay from ten yards out. Weir said: "I am very proud of my team as at half-time in the first game at our place it looked like our season was over. We battled back to get a draw in that game and battled to get a win in this one. To me the key was scoring the first goal."

The Cowdenbeath manager Jimmy Nicholl was severely disappointed by the result and said: "I am really down at the thought of being relegated, and in fact it is the worst I have felt in football for a long time."

Forfar's hopes of eating into the three-goal lead Ayr established in the first leg was dependant on scoring an early goal. However, the early strike which arrived in the sides' second meeting was at the wrong end of the park as far as the visitors were concerned.

Michael Moffat put his Ayr side on easy street after just 12 minutes when he picked up a Stuart Bannigan pass and sent a low shot home. Forfar replied with a Dave Hilson solo effort before half-time with the second half beginning in controversial fashion as Forfar manager Dick Campbell was sent to the stand after falling out with referee Brian Winter. A minute later Campbell's mood worsened as Scott McLaughlin headed in a second goal for Ayr.

Forfar rallied and Barry Sellars converted a Chris Templeman pass to restore parity on the day and it looked like they would head north with the satisfaction of a win when Ross Campbell netted a last-minute penalty after Chris Templeman had been fouled.Ayr would not even give their visitors that pleasure, however, as Alan Trouten scored from the spot after he had been brought down in injury time.

Manager Brian Reid said: "If we play at our best we can beat Brechin and get promoted."