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Brechin City 1 Dunfermline 5: Johnston praises squad depth after victory

Dunfermline's Nicky Clark.
Dunfermline's Nicky Clark.

Dunfermline powered their way into the fourth round of the Irn-Bru Cup with a five-goal romp at Brechin, leaving manager Allan Johnston a satisfied man.

Johnston said: “Brechin is a hard place to come, but we flowed right from the start.

“We controlled the majority of the game and when we went 2-0 up, I thought we might go on to score five or six.

“At that point they scored a wonder goal and we lost our way for five minutes, but we got back control again.

“I now have a depth in my squad, which is pleasing considering we have some players coming back from injury and others who missed pre-season.

“We have players like Joe Cardle and Kallum Higginbotham who came off the bench and added quality. The players now know they have to play well to keep their place.”

The Pars took the initiative from the start and had four scoring chances before they finally took the lead in 17 minutes. A Michael Paton corner was headed goalwards by Callum Fordyce and Lee Ashcroft nodded home.

Dunfermline’s second came along in 25 minutes and was a disaster for the home defence.

Reilly crossed from the left and an attempted clearance from Willie Dyer struck Dougie Hill and flew into the net for an own-goal.

Just a minute later, Brechin were back in the game when Ally Love lashed home a volley from 25 yards.

Five minutes later, Ross Caldwell headed the ball on and this time Love volleyed over.

Dunfermline made it 3-1 four minutes into the second-half. McCabe cut the ball back from the left and Paul McMullan sidefooted home.

Brechin refused to lie down and a drive from Love was turned round the post by David Hutton.

Debutant Clark was desperate for a goal and he was denied by Smith, then sent a shot and a header narrowly wide.

It was 4-1 on 80 minutes when Reilly robbed Gareth Rodger and ran in to score and the Pars completed the scoring in the third minute of stoppage-time when Ashcroft headed home a Higginbotham free-kick.

Brechin boss Darren Dods said: “We gave them chances from our mistakes and we were punished for it. That was disappointing, considering we have only conceded two goals in the league.

“We bounced back well from losing a cup-tie earlier in the season and we must do so again.”

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