Match Report - By Steven Mew
Report by Steven Mew
It's been an excruciating wait of 241 days without a competitive win but last night the City supporters could finally celebrate a victory after edging out Stirling Albion at Forthbank yesterday evening
It has been a hugely frustrating time on the park for Darren Dods' men but they will be hopeful that this victory will provide a much needed confidence boost for the season ahead.
Dods freshened up the side that drew with Peterhead on Saturday with Aron Lynas, Jamie Henry and Boris Melingui starting at the expense of Jordan Tapping, Euan Spark and Kalvin Orsi.
With City losing on penalties to Peterhead and Stirling defeated comprehensively by Dundee at the weekend, both sides knew that a win would be vital in order to have a realistic chance of progressing to the next round of the competition.
City came flying out the traps and within a few minutes Callum Tapping had an effort saved comfortably by Cameron Binnie and the same player again stung the hands of the home keeper shortly after.
Tapping was central to just about every City attack and two minutes later he got to the byline before striking the outside of the post.
City deservedly went ahead with 17 minutes on the clock. A long ball upfield from Paul McLean was met by new signing BORIS MELINGUI who managed to loop his header over the stranded keeper into the empty net.
After a slow start, the home side eventually sparked to life. Kevin Moon had an effort from range which dipped over the bar whilst Mark Stewart headed over from a Docherty cross.
Back came City and some good interplay by Melingui and Shields upfront saw the latter curl a shot just wide of the post. Melingui himself then came close a couple of minutes later but he could only direct his header straight into the grateful arms of Binnie.
Jamie Henry, making his first competitive start for the club in the heart of midfield was next to threaten when he burst into the box only to drag his shot wide. Shortly after, Henry then teed up Dene Shields on the edge of the box but his strike did little to trouble the Stirling keeper.
The home side drew themselves level on the stroke of half time. Veteran striker Peter MacDonald squared the ball across for MARK STEWART who, under pressure from the City defence, managed to bundle the ball home from 6 yards out.
This goal gave the home side the momentum going into the second half with Jordan Allan fizzing a shot just wide shortly after the restart.
Midway through the second half City had keeper Connor Brennan to thank for keeping the scoreline level. Mark Stewart found himself clean through on goal but the former Northern Ireland youth internationalist spread himself well to block the effort.
The introduction of Jordan Sinclair for the hard-working Jamie Henry 20 minutes from time gave City a new lease of life. Sinclair was immediately amongst the action when he took down a long ball from McLean before unleashing a speculative volley over the crossbar. 'Sinky' then produced a save from Binnie who managed to gather at the second attempt.
City came close again when Sean Burns played a low pass inside for Dene Shields who intelligently flicked the ball into the path of Sinclair - his powerful effort from 20 yards was parried out for a corner by Binnie. From the resultant corner, Shields attempted an acrobatic effort at the back post which ended up over the crossbar.
City got the goal that they craved six minutes from time and it was well worth the wait. A cross was cleared only as far as CALLUM TAPPING on the edge of the box - he composed himself before curling a stunning shot into the top corner of the net.
The visitors were comfortable in the closing stages and in fact came close to adding a third goal when Euan Smith shot just wide of the target.
The result puts City top of Group D in the Betfred Cup with four points, albeit having played a game more than full time outfits Dunfermline and Dundee.
City are without a fixture this weekend however they are back in action next Wednesday 25th July as we welcome Dunfermline Athletic to Glebe Park. Kick off is 7:45pm.