Scottish Championship - Play-off Semi-Final - 2nd Leg
Raith Rovers3Brechin3
Brechin City win 4-3 on penalties

Raith 4-4 Brechin (agg: 3-3, 3-4 pen)

Brechin City celebrate their win at Stark's Park
Brechin were the ones celebrating at Stark's Park

Raith Rovers were relegated to Scottish League One as Brechin City progressed to the Championship play-off final on penalties after a thrilling second leg.

Andy Jackson scored the decisive spot-kick after City goalkeeper Graeme Smith made three shoot-out saves.

A pulsating second encounter finished 3-3 after extra time, with Liam Watt's 115th-minute strike forcing penalties.

Manager John Hughes and his assistant Kevin McBride parted company with Raith after the match.

Brechin will face Alloa Athletic, who saw off Airdrieonians, over two legs for a place in the Championship.

The semi-final was all-square following a 1-1 draw at Glebe Park on Wednesday evening and after a start to the game in which both teams appeared more content not to concede than to create, it came to life in the second half.

Brechin had rarely been seen as an attacking force prior to Ross Caldwell's opener six minutes after the break and, even then, they were not the architects of their breakthrough.

Raith Rovers' Declan McManus, Jason Thomson, Craig Barr and Iain Davidson after losing the penalty shoot out
Raith Rovers' Declan McManus, Jason Thomson, Craig Barr and Iain Davidson look dejected figures after losing the penalty shoot-out

Jean-Yves M'voto - so often the cornerstone of the Raith defence - attempted to pass-back to goalkeeper Conor Brennan from wide on the right.

The centre-back did not see Caldwell stealing in to intercept and the former Hibs striker calmly slid the ball home.

M'voto himself powerfully headed in Declan McManus' free-kick to draw Rovers level, and his day in the spotlight was far from over.

After 80 minutes, the Frenchman was well-placed to score a second when Jason Thomson found him six yards out, but he lifted the ball over the bar.

SPFL play-offs
Premiership play-off semi-final, first leg, Tue 16 May, Dundee United v Falkirk (19:45)
Premiership play-off semi-final, second leg, Fri 19 May, Falkirk v Dundee United (19:45)
Championship play-off final, first leg, Wed 17 May, Brechin City v Alloa Athletic (19:35) Live on BBC ALBA
Championship play-off final, second leg, Sat 20 May, Alloa Athletic v Brechin City (17:15) Live on BBC ALBA
League One play-off final, first leg, Wed 17 May, Forfar Athletic v Peterhead (19:45)
League One play-off final, second leg, Sat 20 May, Peterhead v Forfar Athletic (15:00)
League Two play-off final, second leg, Sat 20 May, Cowdenbeath v East Kilbride (0-0) (14:00)

And four minutes later, M'voto miscued an attempted clearance, allowing substitute Alan Trouten to race in on goal, and finish emphatically past Brennan.

Rovers looked bound for League One at that stage, but Declan McManus sent Stark's Park wild with a stoppage-time equaliser, as Brechin failed to clear their lines.

The tie swung the way of John Hughes' men in the first period of extra time, as Ryan Hardie found the net, but Watt's stunning free-kick nestled in the top corner from 30 yards out to haul City level again.

Smith denied three Rovers penalty-takers, giving Andy Jackson the opportunity to win the tie. Brechin's top goalscorer took his chance to condemn Rovers to Scotland's third tier, and keep his side's promotion hopes alive.

Graeme Smith
Graeme Smith saved three of Raith Rovers' penalties in the shoot-out

Raith Rovers manager John Hughes (speaking prior to leaving his position): "There was effort and commitment but we cannot concede the goals that we conceded.

"We just keep shooting ourselves in the foot, which is unfortunate.

"You have to give Brechin credit. They fought us all the way. I really feel for the supporters. This club, with the supporters, needs to come back strong.

"I feel for everyone involved with Raith Rovers. There will be repercussions, that's for sure, but I'm hoping that the club can stay full-time. This club will get back to where it should be.

"I've really enjoyed working with them. There are a lot of guys hurting in there."

Brechin City manager Darren Dods: "It was an unbelievable effort to come back and draw three-all.

"We've never scored a goal from a free-kick since I've been in charge. Liam Watt has hit a few this season but I don't think he'll hit one sweeter than that.

"I think our goalie is the best in League One and he showed it in the penalty shoot-out. We managed to get there in sudden death.

"The squad is stretched as it is but we need to find the final effort for the two last games.

"It's a shame somebody has to go down. I think Raith will bounce back, they are a big club.

"We'll enjoy tonight, train Monday and play on Wednesday. Hopefully a few of their bosses will give them a half day so they can get up to Brechin sharp!"

Line-ups

Raith Rovers

  • 23Brennan
  • 2Thomson
  • 55Barr
  • 5Mvoto
  • 6BenedictusSubstituted forRobertsonat 65'minutes
  • 12MatthewsSubstituted forThompsonat 65'minutes
  • 14DavidsonBooked at 59mins
  • 22HandlingBooked at 105mins
  • 20McManus
  • 52Hardie
  • 26CourtSubstituted forBarrat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Robertson
  • 9Stewart
  • 11Barr
  • 18Roberts
  • 19Skacel
  • 21Thompson
  • 31Brian

Brechin

  • 1Smith
  • 5LynasBooked at 20mins
  • 4Fusco
  • 2McLean
  • 3DyerBooked at 104mins
  • 11WattBooked at 67mins
  • 8GrahamSubstituted forLoveat 100'minutesBooked at 105mins
  • 6Dale
  • 7FordSubstituted forO'Neilat 75'minutes
  • 9Jackson
  • 10CaldwellSubstituted forTroutenat 76'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Love
  • 14O'Neil
  • 15Trouten
  • 16Dods
  • 17Costello
  • 21O'Neil
Referee:
Alan Muir
Attendance:
2,932

Match Stats

Home TeamRaith RoversAway TeamBrechin
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home20
Away6
Shots on Target
Home7
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away11
Fouls
Home18
Away19

Live Text

Match ends, Raith Rovers 3(3), Brechin City 3(4).

Penalties over

Penalty Shootout ends, Raith Rovers 3(3), Brechin City 3(4).

Goal!

Goal! Raith Rovers 3(3), Brechin City 3(4). Andy Jackson (Brechin City) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Penalty saved! Scott Robertson (Raith Rovers) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.

Goal!

Goal! Raith Rovers 3(3), Brechin City 3(3). Ally Love (Brechin City) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Goal!

Goal! Raith Rovers 3(3), Brechin City 3(2). Declan McManus (Raith Rovers) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

Goal!

Goal! Raith Rovers 3(2), Brechin City 3(2). Alan Trouten (Brechin City) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Penalty saved! Bobby Barr (Raith Rovers) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.

Penalty missed! Bad penalty by Paul McLean (Brechin City) right footed shot is close, but misses to the left. Paul McLean should be disappointed.

Goal!

Goal! Raith Rovers 3(2), Brechin City 3(1). Jordan Thompson (Raith Rovers) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Penalty missed! Bad penalty by Liam Watt (Brechin City) right footed shot is too high. Liam Watt should be disappointed.

Penalty saved! Ryan Hardie (Raith Rovers) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.

Goal!

Goal! Raith Rovers 3(1), Brechin City 3(1). Willie Dyer (Brechin City) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Goal!

Goal! Raith Rovers 3(1), Brechin City 3. Daniel Handling (Raith Rovers) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Penalties in progress

Penalty Shootout begins Raith Rovers 3, Brechin City 3.

Second Half Extra Time ends, Raith Rovers 3, Brechin City 3.

Foul by Declan McManus (Raith Rovers).

Alan Trouten (Brechin City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Declan McManus (Raith Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Foul by Declan McManus (Raith Rovers).

Alan Trouten (Brechin City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Goal!

Goal! Raith Rovers 3, Brechin City 3. Liam Watt (Brechin City) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

Foul by Scott Robertson (Raith Rovers).

Alan Trouten (Brechin City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Iain Davidson (Raith Rovers).

Alan Trouten (Brechin City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Declan McManus (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Aron Lynas (Brechin City).

Scott Robertson (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Andy Jackson (Brechin City).

Attempt missed. Bobby Barr (Raith Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Foul by Iain Davidson (Raith Rovers).

Alan Trouten (Brechin City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Scott Robertson (Raith Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Second Half Extra Time begins Raith Rovers 3, Brechin City 2.

First Half Extra Time ends, Raith Rovers 3, Brechin City 2.

Corner, Brechin City. Conceded by Bobby Barr.

Foul by Bobby Barr (Raith Rovers).

Alan Trouten (Brechin City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Declan McManus (Raith Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.

goal

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