Match Report - By Steven Mew
A headed goal from Ryan McCord just eight minutes from time broke City's stubborn resistance against league leaders Arbroath in the Angus derby at Gayfield yesterday afternoon.
The record books will show a sixth consecutive league defeat for City, but those in attendance will have seen a marked improvement from recent weeks, with a well drilled defence desperately unlucky not to boast a clean sheet against an Arbroath outfit who netted five at Glebe Park in the last meeting between the sides.
New signing Scott Robertson came straight into the side, slotting in midfield just in front of the defence. Also coming in to the side was Euan Smith and captain Paul McLean, who made his first start for the club since late October.
Barry Smith kept faith with Paddy O'Neil in goal and he was called into action on 5 minutes when he had to palm away a stinging effort from Bobby Linn. Five minutes later Linn took advantage of a slip from McLean but his effort from a narrow angle was kept out by the City keeper.
The home side continued to press for the opening goal and on 17 minutes, the ball fell for Gavin Swankie inside the box but his effort was pushed away by the O'Neil.
After soaking up the early pressure, City came into the game - Sean Burns burst forward before laying the ball off for Euan Smith but his left footed effort was pushed by by Jamieson for a corner.
Five minutes later, a flowing passing move from the visitors ended with Robertson playing the ball into an inviting position for Sean Burns 25 yards out but he couldn't keep his shot down.
This promising spell for City continued with Spark coming in from the left side before shooting straight at the keeper and a minute later Jackson blasted over after being teed up by Orsi.
At the other end, Gavin Swankie evaded a couple of challenges on the edge of the box before shooting over. Meanwhile for City, Jackson shot wide after a quick free kick from Sinclair.
After a fairly even first half, City were first to threaten in the second period when Jordan Sinclair's rasping shot from range was comfortably saved by Jamieson.
The home side would go on to control the second half in terms of possession but they would struggle to create any clear cut opportunities against a well organised back line.
A couple of half chances came the way of Michael McKenna who flicked over from Hamilton's cross, and several minutes later he curled a shot just wide of the post.
Substitute Ryan Wallace nearly made an immediate impact when he rounded O'Neil in the penalty area but his goalbound shot was cleared away by Jordan Tapping.
With City looking good for a well earned point, disaster struck 8 minutes from time as the home side made the breakthrough. Bobby Linn's floated cross from the right hand side was met by the head of RYAN MCCORD and despite the best efforts of O'Neil in the City goal, he was unable to keep it out.
With the game approaching stoppage time, the Lichties had the chance to wrap the game up after they were awarded a penalty after City were caught out on the counter attack. Kalvin Orsi challenged Bobby Linn in the box and despite winning the ball, referee David Lowe pointed to the spot.
It was a decision that even the Arbroath management team of Dick and Ian Campbell disagreed with following the match. Justice was done however as Ryan McCord proceeded to sky the penalty high over the crossbar.
That would prove to be the last action of the game and City could perhaps consider themselves unfortunate not to have something to show for their efforts.
The returning Paul McLean in particular put in a solid performance up against arguably the leagues best player this season in Bobby Linn - who subsequently swapped wings during the second half at an attempt of some success.
New recruit Scott Robertson's lack of game time was far from evident as he put in an accomplished performance in the middle of the park.
City face an important game next weekend as we welcome 8th placed Dumbarton to Glebe Park. A win for City would bring them level with the Sons whilst a defeat would see the Reds six points adrift of automatic safety.
Other Results - Ladbrokes League One
Dumbarton 2 Forfar Athletic 3
The Loons edge out Dumbarton at the C&G Systems Stadium.
East Fife 1 Airdrieonians 2
Narrow win for the Diamonds at New Bayview.
Raith Rovers 5 Stenhousemuir 1
Stenny stay bottom of the league after a heavy defeat at Raith.
Stranraer 1 Montrose 2
Montrose continue their recent good run of form.