Match Report - By Steven Mew
A spirited second half comeback culminating in a dramatic stoppage time winner from Frenchman Boris Melingui earned City all three points against Dumbarton at Glebe Park yesterday afternoon.
Truth be told - when the visitors doubled their advantage shortly before the hour mark, even a share of the spoils had looked unlikely for City at this point. However, the players dug deep to grind out a deserved victory against one of the bookies favourites for League One.
Darren Dods stuck with the same starting 11 as last weekend but found his options on the bench limited with the departure of Jamie Henry following the expiration of his short term contract, along with the injured Dene Shields.
The visitors meanwhile listed no fewer than 5 ex-City players in their starting lineup - namely Willie Dyer, Andy Dowie, Michael Paton, Bobby Barr and Iain Russell. Similarly to City, injuries meant that the Sons could only name 3 outfield players on the bench, one of which being a trialist.
City enjoyed most of the ball in the opening quarter of an hour but failed to test Grant Adam in the Sons goal. The only chance of note fell to Jordan Sinclair after five minutes when he dragged a shot on his weaker right foot wide of the target.
The visitors started to come into the game and some good work down the wing from Bobby Barr ended in him crossing for the unmarked Rory Loy however he somehow headed over.
The ex-City winger was to save Loy's blushes five minutes later. Michael Paton's corner from the left went all the way to BOBBY BARR at the far side - he floated in a cross which evaded everyone in the box and nestled in at the back post.
Dumbarton were close to doubling their advantage when Iain Russell was sent clean through on goal by Rory Loy but Brennan was off his line quickly to deny 'Beany' with his feet.
On 35 minutes, City won a free kick in a promising position 25 yards from goal but Jordan Sinclair's effort was weak and trickled wide of goal.
Ross Forbes, who had come on for the injured Michael Paton earlier in the half, was next to test Brennan with a rasping effort from outside the box which stung the hands of the City keeper.
A few minutes before the break, Andy Jackson showed great feet as he made his way past a couple of Dumbarton defenders in the box but he could only prod his effort straight at Adam.
Ten minutes into the second period, City were desperately unlucky not to equalise. Tapping's cross into the box landed for Melingui who was denied by a defensive block initially before his second effort was saved by Adam who eventually gathered.
Perhaps against the run of play, the visitors doubled their advantage shortly before the hour mark. A trialist, who had come on for the injured Carswell just 6 minutes prior, lashed an unstoppable strike past Brennan from the edge of the box to give City a real mountain to climb. You would have expected City heads to go down, but the goal only seemed to galvanise the home side.
It only took 4 minutes for City to start the comeback. Kalvin Orsi played the ball inside to BORIS MELINGUI who held off his marker inside the box before angling a low shot into the far corner to give City hope.
Defender Dougie Hill almost equalised for City when his diving header cannoned off the outside of the post from Tapping's floated delivery. At the other end, the Sons almost restored their two goal advantage when Rory Loy headed over from Barr's dinked cross.
With 77 minutes on the clock, City were level with an almost carbon copy of the first goal. Again Orsi was the creator down the right hand side as he played in CALLUM TAPPING who sidestepped a challenge before lashing into the far corner.
There was some concern as Dougie Hill limped off injured six minutes from the end in what was City's only substitution. He was replaced by Euan Spark.
The visitors had the ball in the net as the game entered added time as substitute Calum Gallagher glanced a cross into the far corner but to the relief of the home support, the linesman had already flagged for offside.
Deep into stoppage time City grabbed a dramatic winner. Again Kalvin Orsi was involved down the right as his low shot was parried out as far as BORIS MELINGUI and although his initial effort was blocked, he managed to squeeze the ball in from a right angle to spark jubilant scenes amongst players and supporters.
There was barely enough time for Sons to mount an attack after the restart as referee Mike Roncone brought an end to an action packed second half.
Huge credit must go to the players who battled right to the death and got their rewards. A huge confidence boost ahead of another tough local derby against Arbroath at Gayfield next weekend.
Other Results - Ladbrokes League One
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A spectacular comeback from 3-1 down earns Raith the win.
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The Lichties stay top of the league after a fine win.
Forfar Athletic 2 Stenhousemuir 0
Routine win for Forfar at Station Park.
Stranraer 2 Montrose 0
Stranraer earn all 3 points at Stair Park.