Match Report - By Steven Mew
City recorded back to back wins for the first time since March 2017 as an injury-ravaged side came from behind to defeat 2nd placed Raith Rovers yesterday afternoon.
At a rain sodden Glebe Park, a City side missing no fewer than seven players showed real grit and determination to overcome a full-time Rovers outfit who themselves went into the game off the back of a tremendous 3-0 victory against Fife rivals Dunfermline in the Scottish Cup last weekend.
New signings Lewis Toshney and Craig Thomson came straight into the side with Graham Bowman taking a place on the bench with Paddy O'Neil continuing in goal. Toshney and Thomson slotted in at centre half and right back respectively with skipper Paul McLean in an unfamiliar defensive midfield role. The injury situation meant Barry Smith could only name 2 outfield substitutes.
City started brightly but the first real opportunity of the game would fall to the visitors shortly before the quarter hour mark. Lewis Vaughan, who netted a hat-trick last weekend, played in Duggan who was denied by O'Neil and just a minute later the City keeper had to be alert to parry away an effort by Vaughan from the edge of the box.
Both sides continued to deal well with the heavy Glebe surface as rain continued to fall, with City in particular looking dangerous on the counter attack. Orsi was causing problems with his direct running and he burst through the heart of midfield before playing the ball out to Jackson on the left - he cut inside ex-City defender Iain Davidson but he could only find the side netting with his effort.
The visitors suffered a blow on the half hour mark when Lewis Vaughan went down with what looked like a serious looking injury - he was replaced by top scorer Kevin Nisbet who himself was just returning to action following a spell on the sidelines.
NISBET didn't take long to make his mark as he netted within a couple of minutes of coming on. Some slack defending allowed the striker a run into the box and although his initial effort was blocked by Toshney, he made no mistake with the follow up as he slotted beyond O'Neil into the far corner.
City immediately looked to get back in the game and on the counter Paul McLean fed Orsi out wide but his effort was easily gathered by Robbie Thomson. Ten minutes later, a deep cross from Orsi was poorly defended and Jackson got above Benedictus in the air but he couldn't get enough power on the header to trouble the keeper.
As the first half drew to a close, Nathan Flanagan's free kick from 20 yards sailed harmlessly over the bar and moments later, Tony Dingwall's shot from the edge of the box was well blocked by Toshney for a corner.
City started the second half well and just a few minutes in, Sean Burns floated in an inviting cross for Kavanagh but he couldn't make contact as the ball fizzed just wide. Minutes later, some good work from Craig Thomson resulted in Andy Jackson shooting just wide of the post.
The home side kept plugging away and got their just deserts when they equalised on 52 minutes. Kalvin Orsi squared the ball across for EUAN SMITH who got himself in front of Nat Wedderburn to instinctively flick into the corner for his first ever City goal.
Buoyed by the leveller, City were hungry for more. Sinclair fed the impressive Orsi on the left hand side - he beat his man before fizzing a ball across the face of goal for Kavanagh but he couldn't quite connect properly at the back post.
The match opened up as the visitors looked to get back in front - a deep cross fell kindly for Nisbet just 5 yards out but his effort was superbly blocked by Toshney who threw himself in front of the shot.
Raith were struggling to cope with the pace of City's counter attacks - again it was Orsi leading the way with a blistering run from his own half before playing Thomson clear - but he was denied a debut goal by a smart save down low by the Rovers keeper.
Paddy O'Neil in the City goal was called into action in the 65th minute when he made a splendid save to push away a header from Euan Murray.
Just a minute later at the other end, City got their noses in front following yet another fast flowing counter attacking move. Orsi and Jackson drove City forward, resulting in Sinclair's shot being palmed away but only as far as ROSS KAVANAGH who slotted home for his first goal on his first start for the club.
With ten minutes left on the clock, Gillespie found substitute Craig McGuffie on the edge of the box, he let fly with a powerful effort which was tipped over the bar by O'Neil.
The visitors continued to press for a late equaliser however they were struggling to get through a packed and well drilled City defence. There was a penalty shout when Chris Duggan went down under the challenge of Jordan Sinclair - referee Euan Anderson blew his whistle however much to the relief of the home support, the midfielder was booked for diving.
Raith nearly snatched an equaliser at the death, Euan Murray whipped in a cross for Tony Dingwall who headed inches past the post - City players and supporters could breathe again.
Stoppage time felt like an eternity but the referee finally called time on a huge victory for City which propels them above Dumbarton and into 8th place.
Winger Kalvin Orsi was awarded man of the match and deservedly so following a tireless showing and assist for the first goal, but there was many excellent performances amongst the City ranks with both new recruits Toshney and Thomson enjoying impressive debuts.
City make the short journey to take on Montrose in the Angus derby at Links Park next weekend hoping to make it three wins on the trot.
Other Results - Ladbrokes League One
Arbroath 0 Forfar Athletic 2
Impresive result for the Loons away to the league leaders in the Angus derby.
Dumbarton 1 Montrose 1
Martin Rennie's late penalty salvages a point for the Mo.
Stenhousemuir 1 Airdrieonians 0
Stenny grab a huge win against the Diamonds but remain bottom.
Stranraer 3 East Fife 4
Thriller at Stair Park as East Fife come from behind to win.