Match Report - By Steven Mew
Report by Steven Mew
City's return to League One got off to a disappointing start yesterday afternoon as they went down narrowly to 10 man Stenhousemuir at Ochilview.
It proved to be a real scrappy affair with moments of quality few and far between for either side - it certainly wasn't one for the football purists.
With a squad decimated by injury and suspension, Manager Darren Dods was forced into making numerous changes from the side that lost to Dundee last weekend.
The injured Jordan Tapping and Paul McLean were joined in the stand by Callum Tapping who was serving a one-match ban which carried over from last season. Coming in to the side were Jamie Henry and Jordan Sinclair whilst Giuliano Morena returned from suspension.
There was some positive news for City fans with the return of long term injury victim Ryan McGeever to the match-day squad as he took his place on the substitutes bench.
The Stenny starting 11 featured a familiar face with ex-City keeper Graeme Smith lining up for the Warriors, captaining the side.
Newly-promoted Stenny got off to a flier as they opened the scoring with just 8 minutes on the clock. Euan Smith conceded a corner kick which was whipped into a packed danger area by Conner Duthie - the ball bobbled off the unfortunate DOUGIE HILL and into his own net.
This early setback sparked City into life with Jordan Sinclair's goalbound effort from the edge of the box well blocked by the Stenny defence following some good work by Sean Burns down the left whilst Dene Shields also came close with a well struck 25 yard free kick which went just over.
At the other end, striker Mark McGuigan headed over the bar whilst Jesus Garcia Tena also had a headed effort which appeared to come off the outside the post.
City keeper Conor Brennan was called into action for the first time after 39 minutes when he got down well to save a low effort from Conner Duthie from the edge of the box.
The home side were reduced to ten men on the stroke of half time when Kieran Gibbons, who had been booked earlier in the half, took down Kalvin Orsi in the middle of the park. Referee Barry Cook had no hesitation in showing Gibbons a second yellow.
With a one man advantage, Darren Dods made an attacking change at half time with Andy Jackson replacing Jamie Henry.
The extra man in attack failed to have the desired effect as a well drilled Stenny defence coped reasonably well against a City side sorely lacking in creativity.
Midway through the second half a right sided cross from Kalvin Orsi resulted in blocked efforts from Jackson and Sinclair as Stenny threw bodies in front of the ball to preserve their advantage.
Sean Burns got forward at every opportunity and he stung the hands of Smith with a rasping shot from a difficult angle. Dene Shields was next to threaten a few minutes later with a speculative overhead kick which he couldn't connect with properly and the ball went harmlessly wide.
The home side should have doubled their advantage shortly after. A long range shot from Conner Duthie was spilled by Brennan however the City keeper made amends by keeping out the follow up effort from McGuigan followed by another save from Duthie which he palmed away.
City's best chance, and only shot on target, came four minutes from time. Some excellent play by Orsi down the right saw him cut the ball back for substitute Boris Melingui but Smith did well to push the powerful effort away for a corner.
That proved to be the last real action of the game as the home side saw the game out for a well earned three points against a disjointed City team.
Darren Dods and his squad will look to pick themselves up for the next league match at home to East Fife next Saturday.
Other Results - Ladbrokes League One
East Fife 0 Dumbarton 2
Comfortable win for the Sons at Bayview.
Forfar Athletic 1 Airdrieonians 3
Three late goals hand the Diamonds the win at Station Park.
Montrose 0 Arbroath 4
Thumping win for the Lichties in the Angus derby.
Stranraer 1 Raith Rovers 1
Hard earned point for the Blues against full time Raith.