Dundee 2 - 0 Brechin City: Spence and McGowan seal victory for Dundee
Neil McCann’s side were never put in any danger by part-time Brechin who finished with ten men due to Callum Tapping’s injury-time sending-off as strikes in either half from midfielders Lewis Spence and Paul McGowan ensured they would feature in today’s draw for the knock-out stages.
It’s been a mainly decent group D campaign but the real stuff starts when the Taysiders travel to take on newly-promoted St Mirren on Saturday.
“We could have won by a lot greater margin but the most important thing is we’ve learned that we’ve progressed to the next stage,” said McCann afterwards.
“It puts us in a good frame of mind for the league opener away to St Mirren who’ll also be feeling confident having scored so many goals against Dumbarton.”
Ahead of this final group game, McCann had issued a rallying call to his players to put on a show after their last home game against Championship side Dunfermline had ended in a flat 1-0 defeat.
Kharl Madianga’s tenth minute shot was saved by Conor Brennan, before Spence gave them the lead. The midfielder appeared to be lining up a cross from inside the box which took Brennan by surprise as it nestled into his top corner.
Soon after, Brechin threatened briefly when Sean Burns’ low cross eluded the entire Dundee defence, only for Dene Shields to be unable to make the required connection.
Dundee striker Craig Wighton was next to come close to extending the hosts’ lead, only to see his low shot come crashing back off Brennan’s near post.
Dundee were hungry for more goals after the break. Jesse Curran’s cross from the right was met by Madianga, and his shot struck the woodwork. They did, though, go further ahead in 59 minutes. McGowan latched on to a loose ball from a set-piece, and from the edge of the box he drove his shot low into the net, although Brennan did deny the same player with a spectacular save in the remaining few minutes.
“It was always going to be tough in the wake of what happened on Wednesday but the boys showed character to hang on in there,” said Brechin manager Darren Dods.