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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...


Stirling 0 Brechin 5: City put poor Binos to the sword

September 15 2014

Brechin boss Ray McKinnon heaped praise on his side after they demolished Stirling Albion at Forthbank to move to within a point of the League One summit. Andy Jackson and Alan Trouten both scored twice and Bobby Barr was also on target for the visitors, who face Ayr United at Glebe Park on Saturday. McKinnon said: “I’m delighted with the result and it was a real team performance. “We were decimated by injuries last season but we’ve got a strong squad at our disposal now and you saw that from the quality we had on the bench. “Callum Tapping had to go off with a knee injury but we are hoping it is not too serious. We’ll see how he is on Tuesday night at training.” Jackson grabbed his first goal of the season in 14 minutes with a close-range header after great work by Tapping and the ex-St Johnstone striker doubled the lead in 63 minutes when he seized on an error by Chris Smith and beat keeper Callum Reidford with a brilliant lob from 30 yards. Trouten, on for the injured Tapping, converted a penalty after he had been flattened by Gordon Smith and Barr netted the fourth goal, although Trouten’s effort was going in anyway. Trouten completed the rout with two minutes remaining when he was left unmarked to head home. Binos boss Greig McDonald said: “That was completely unacceptable. The players have let myself, the club and the supporters down.”


Arbroath 0 Brechin City 2: Boss pays tribute to Alan Trouten strike

November 4 2013

Brechin boss Ray McKinnon reckons Alan Trouten’s goal two minutes from the end, which finally killed off Arbroath and sent the Glebe Park side into the next round of the William Hill Scottish Cup, was out of the top drawer. He said: “It was a great goal, similar to the one Aaron Ramsey scored for Arsenal a few weeks ago. He beat five players on his run into the box and it was just fantastic. “The wind played a part in the game and the conditions were poor, but we played some good football at times. “I think we deserved to win. We could have scored a few more goals but our goalie also had to make a couple good saves when it was 1-0, so I’m just pleased to be in the next round.” The stormy conditions made life difficult for both teams and neither side created too many clear-cut chances in an even opening 45 minutes. The Red Lichties should have taken the lead shortly after the restart when Bobby Linn delivered an inch perfect cross deep into the Brechin danger zone but Graham Bayne, with the goal at his mercy, directed his header wide of the mark. The Gayfield men were made to pay for that missed opportunity in the 58th minute when Andy Jackson capitalised on some slack defending to open the scoring. Darren Petrie swung the ball over to the far post, Trouten knocked the ball into the path of Jackson and the Brechin striker wasted no time in netting from close range. Arbroath fought back and Chris Smith had to look lively to stop a powerful Steven Milne drive while Ross Chisholm shot wide after being set-up by Lee Sibanda. As the Lichties pushed forward in search of an equaliser, City looked increasingly dangerous on the break and it was little surprise when they went further ahead with Trouten’s superb goal. The Brechin man took possession wide on the left, jinked his way into the box, eluding all challengers, before curling the ball beyond the reach of Scott Morrison. Arbroath player-manager Paul Sheerin was disappointed at exiting the cup but is more concerned about the extension to his side’s losing streak. He said: “It’s frustrating as there’s nothing better than being in the draw for the next round of the cup. We’ve experienced that for the last two years with games against Celtic and Rangers. “On the bigger picture, that’s three defeats in a row now and that’s just not good enough for us.”

Scottish League 1

Stranraer 1 Brechin 2: City secure League One status

April 21 2014

Brechin boss Ray McKinnon hailed his side securing League One safety as a “great achievement” after Robert Thomson’s winner handed them the points to stave off the threat of the play-offs. “I’m delighted, obviously disappointed we were in this position in the first place, but I’ve said to the lads, they’ve done magnificently given that the squad has been decimated this season through injuries,” McKinnon said. “We’ve had major problems. Long periods this season without guys like Bobby Barr, Alan Trouten and Andy Jackson have made it tough and meant we have run with a skeleton squad.” Brechin made a dream start at Stair Park as Alan Trouten’s spot-kick put them ahead after only four minutes, referee Gavin Duncan adjudging Mark Docherty to have fouled Andy Jackson in the box. Moments later, Jamie Longworth almost had the Blues level but Graeme Smith got down well to smother his shot. It was all Stranraer and both Grant Gallagher and Martin Grehan came close, denied only by the side net and post respectively. The home side continued to sweep forward and a deserved equaliser came midway through the half. A dangerous ball into the box from Andy Stirling evaded both visiting keeper Smith and Jamie Longworth, who did well to distract him and allow it to drop into the net. After the break, Bobby Barr blazed over after a quick free-kick as Brechin began to look a far sharper proposition. Sean Winter spurned a gilt-edged chance to put Stranraer in front, the midfielder scooping his shot over from 12 yards. Brechin’s best moves were on the counter-attack and Thomson grabbed the crucial winner from just inside the box after Jackson nodded it down. Dejected Stranraer boss Stevie Aitken said: “We had plenty of clear-cut chances to put the game to bed and, if you don’t take your chances, you just can’t win games I’m afraid.”

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

Scottish League 1

Brechin 3 Dunfermline 0: McKinnon hails City display as Pars slump to seventh

April 20 2015

Brechin City’s comprehensive 3-0 victory over Dunfermline Athletic marked Ray McKinnon’s 50th competitive win as City manager. The former Dundee United and Aberdeen star was understandably delighted with the manner of his side’s victory which took them to within one point of the play-offs. “This was a big game for us as Dunfermline are a top side so we’re delighted with the three points,” he said. “However, there’s still all to play for. “We need to do a job next week against Stenhousemuir and also the following week against Stranraer and we’ll be focusing on that during the coming week but as far as today was concerned it was a really good team performance and a vitally important three points. “The whole team was fantastic. Each and every one of them did the job they set out to do and I’m absolutely delighted for them.” The Pars got off to the worst possible start when full-back Ross Millen was ordered off by referee John McKendrick after just 13 minutes for elbowing Alan Trouten in the back while City were waiting to take a free-kick. City made their extra man count by grabbing two goals within four minutes. They notched the opener in the 24th minute after a wonderful three-man move involving Ewan McNeil, Jamie Masson and Andy Jackson was superbly finished off by Trouten. They doubled their lead four minutes later when Trouten was on the spot to blast the ball into the net after a Masson shot had been parried into his path by Pars keeper Ryan Scully. Dunfermline battled hard after the break but Jackson wrapped up the points for City in the 64th minute when he fired home from close-range after great work from Bobby Barr had created the opportunity. Dunfermline, whose season got under way with a great deal of optimism, now move down to seventh place in the table, their play-off hopes in tatters, and manager John Potter found it hard to conceal his disappointment at the final whistle. “I was reasonably happy with the way we started the match, but the sending off changed things and we then made bad mistakes which led to Brechin’s two goals,” he said. “I would never ever fault the players for their effort or their workrate but the simple fact is that some of the players are simply not good enough. “We should know how to play this league as we’ve been in it for a couple of years, but people have let us down on certain occasions and as a group we have to do so much better. “We know that the squad will need big changes if we’re to win the league next season and that will certainly be our objective.”

Scottish League 1

Stenhousemuir 2 Brechin 2: McKinnon delighted to secure play-off place

April 27 2015

Brechin City boss Ray McKinnon was both delighted and relieved after his side clinched their place in the Scottish Championship play-offs following a 2-2 draw against Stenhousemuir at Ochilview. City found themselves two goals down within the first 11 minutes after Martin Grehan had headed the Warriors in front after just two minutes with Alan Lithgow adding a second 10 minutes later. However, Andy Jackson fired home from around 15 yards seconds after Lithgow’s goal to reduce the deficit and Alan Trouten’s blistering close-range drive eight minutes later levelled the match. Clear-cut chances for both sides after the break were at a premium and the Warriors’ cause wasn’t helped late on in the half when Grehan was dismissed for a second bookable offence. Thereafter, City were quite content to keep possession and see out the match to ensure their top four finish. “I’m delighted that we’ve got the point we needed but it was certainly a very nervy last 10 minutes as anything can happen in football,” McKinnon said. “We knew that if we couldn’t win the league our only route to promotion was through the play-offs and I’m absolutely delighted for the guys that we’ve achieved that objective.” “We got off to the worst possible start losing two goals within the first 10 minutes. “We gave away a cheap throw-in which then led to a corner from which Stenny scored their first goal. “However, maybe that’s what was needed to spring us into life and Andy Jackson’s goal was so important coming as it did immediately after Stenny’s second goal.”

Scottish League 1

Brechin boss Ray McKinnon hoping to snap up Rangers player once again

January 7 2015

Brechin boss Ray McKinnon is keen to bring Rangers midfielder Kyle McAusland back to the club until the end of the season. The Ibrox youngster joined City on loan in September with the 21-year-old netting three times in 11 appearances for the Angus side. His spell at the Glebe came to an end on December 27 but McKinnon is now attempting to snap him up again after another on-loan player, Aberdeen’s Jamie Masson, returned to Pittodrie following Saturday’s Angus derby win over Forfar. The manager said: “Kyle did really well for us and scored a few goals during his spell at the club. “I believe he is keen to come back and I would like to sign him until the end of the season. “However, he is still a Rangers player so we will have to see what happens.” McKinnon also admitted he is running the rule over a couple of other possible signings but he was keeping his cards close to his chest over their identities. However, he was more than happy to praise the contribution of on-loan Dundee striker Craig Wighton, who made his first start for Brechin in the 2-0 victory over Forfar at Station Park at the weekend. The 17-year-old was prominent throughout and provided a superb assist for Alan Trouten’s goal which sealed City’s victory. McKinnon said: “Craig did really well against Forfar. I was pleased with his contribution. He has everything really he is quick, brave and has great feet. “I am sure that playing regular first-team football at Brechin can only benefit him.”