Morton 2 - 0 Brechin: City relegated after defeat

Morton's John Baird. Picture: SNS/Craig FoyMorton's John Baird. Picture: SNS/Craig Foy
Morton's John Baird. Picture: SNS/Craig Foy
There was a compelling case here for the visitors to be playing in a different division next season, but the same could not be said for the hosts. Brechin, without a win in 29 fixtures, had their relegation confirmed after their 25th defeat and their failings were once again all too evident.

Morton, however, while claiming their first win in six games to move up to third place, did not resemble a side capable of negotiating a way through the play-offs. They had endured a five-game winless sequence going into this potential banana skin, though, and manager Jim Duffy was satisfied with the outcome.

“It wasn’t a pretty game but we dominated from start to finish and Graeme Smith had four great saves for them,” he said.

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“Our league position is too precarious to pay much attention to the table, though. We play Dundee United next week and things could change dramatically but we’re in the mix and we’re in there fighting for it.”

Unsurprisingly, the home side did all the early pressing and City goalkeeper Smith produced two excellent saves inside the opening eight minutes. He first pushed over a fierce angled drive from Gary Oliver and then got down quickly to keep out Gary Fraser’s firm downward header from Michael Tidser’s cross.

However, the visitors ought to have taken the lead in the 14th minute when captain Paul McLean failed to hit the target with a header from four yards.

Smith was the hero again when he beat away a netbound shot from John Baird, pictured, and followed that with a diving save to parry Tidser’s piledriver while Derek Gaston saved from Liam Watt as the opening goal continued to elude both sides.

Morton finally drew first blood five minutes after the interval but it was a goal which owed much to dilatory defending. The visitors’ marking was non-existent when Fraser’s corner was headed home by Baird from point-blank range.

The striker made the points secure with a well-taken second goal, lofting the ball over Smith as he left his line; Scott Tiffoney, with a pass perfectly timed to spring Brechin’s offside trap, claimed the assist.

Any hopes Brechin harboured of claiming a first point away from home in this calamitous campaign disappeared there and then.