Match Report - By Steven Mew
Report by Steven Mew
City's last group game in the Betfred Cup ended in defeat at the hands of Premier League side Dundee at Dens Park yesterday afternoon.
A marked improvement from the heavy defeat against Dunfermline was the aim for City and this was the case to some extent. However, much of the credit must go to keeper Conor Brennan who put in a confidence boosting man of the match performance to keep the scoreline down.
In truth, the home side barely needed to get out of first gear to overcome a City side that struggled to create any real openings going forward.
Darren Dods opted to freshen things up from midweek with Euan Spark, Euan Smith and Kalvin Orsi coming into the side at the expense of James Henry, Boris Melingui and the suspended Giuiliano Morena.
The Dark Blues took control right from the start and Brennan had to be alert to tip an effort from Mgwatala round the post and just a few minutes later a rasping shot from Madianga stung the hands of the City keeper.
The home side opened the scoring with 11 minutes on the clock. Ex City loanee LEWIS SPENCE collected the ball on the right hand side of the box, he beat his man before delivering a chipped cross which sneaked in at the back post despite the best efforts of Paul McLean on the line. The jury's out on whether Spence had meant it or not, but Dundee had the lead that their early pressure had merited.
Dundee continued to pile on the pressure with Brennan parrying a Mendy shot away and came even closer shortly after when the City keeper tipped Craig Wighton's effort onto the post.
Five minutes before the break, Brennan had to palm away another effort by Madianga and the ball was cleared to safety by Dougie Hill before a Dundee attacker could follow up on the loose ball.
The second half continued in much the same fashion as the Premiership side looked to grab that all important second goal. Jesse Curran got the byline before pulling the ball back for Madianga who struck the inside of the post.
Dundee eventually doubled their advantage shortly before the hour mark. The ball fell kindly for PAUL MCGOWAN on the edge of the box and his effort flew into the corner with the possible aid of a deflection.
McGowan was central to just about every Dundee attack in the second half and he called Brennan into several good saves. Firstly, Brennan pushed away a powerful McGowan effort following a cutback and minutes later the same player blazed over the bar from a similar move.
The biggest cheer of the game from the City fans undoubtedly came after 78 minutes when Andy Jackson made his return from a long term injury, replacing Dene Shields upfront to a rapturous applause from the 87 City supporters in attendance.
Five minutes from time, McGowan looked to have caught Brennan out with a dipping volley however the City keeper retreated back well to tip the effort over the bar.
With the game deep into stoppage time, Callum Tapping was given his marching orders after picking up a second yellow card for a late challenge on Cammy Kerr.
Attention now turns to Stenhousemuir as City travel to Ochilview next Saturday for the opening game back in League One.