Match Report - By Steven Mew
City made it three wins from the last four matches following a narrow win over Airdrieonians at the Penny Cars Stadium yesterday afternoon.
Prior to yesterday, City's only win on the road this season was at Airdrie back in October and they went on to repeat the feat with a solid defensive display.
Manager Barry Smith didn't have his troubles to seek, with no fewer than six players unavailable for selection with several others in the matchday squad carrying minor injuries. The players that were available to him, however, put in an excellent shift to grind out a crucial win.
Smith made 3 changes from the side that lost heavily at Montrose with Ryan McGeever, Scott Robertson and Tam Scobbie coming in, with the latter making his debut after signing on loan from Dundee United last week.
The home side, who have struggled for form since the turn of the year, started brightly with ex-City full back Chris O'Neil striking over the bar from range. Two minutes later Andy Jackson held off the challenge of Grant Gallagher in the box but he couldn't connect properly with his shot on the turn as Hutton gathered easily.
Paddy O'Neil was first called into action on 8 minutes when a flowing Airdrie move resulted in Josh Campbell shooting for goal, but the City keeper did well to palm away the powerful effort from the edge of the box.
City opened the scoring on 16 minutes and it wasn't one likely to feature in any goal of the season competition. A slack backpass from Grant Gallagher was intercepted by ANDY JACKSON and as he challenged the keeper for the ball, he managed to prod the ball goalwards. Despite the efforts of Sean Crighton and Hutton - they were unable to stop the ball from crossing the line.
Shortly after the goal Euan Smith, who was making his 100th appearance for the club, played a pass into Jordan Sinclair who let fly from 30 yards but his effort was well off target.
The home side started to take control and Paddy O'Neil tipped a deflected Campbell effort round the post. From the resulting corner, O'Neil showed excellent reflexes to tip over a powerful header from former City man Sean Crighton.
O'Neil again showed his worth to the side five minutes later. Leighton McIntosh's volley from MacDonald's left sided cross looked destined for the corner but the City stopper got down well to push the ball onto the post before being scrambled clear by McGeever.
Shortly before the break, Dundee United loanee Declan Glass showed some good footwork in the box before striking for goal, but again O'Neil was equal to it.
Airdrie continued to have the lions share of possession in the second half but were finding it increasingly difficult to create any clear cut opportunities against a vastly experienced and well organised City back line.
There would be a scare for City shortly after the hour mark when the home side had the ball in the net. A cross from the right was headed against the crossbar by McIntosh, however Darryl Duffy was on hand to slot home the rebound. Much to the dismay of the Airdrie players, the linesman had already flagged for offside.
That was just about as good as it got for the home side in their quest for an equaliser, but there was another heart in the mouth moment for City in stoppage time when Ryan Conroy advanced with the ball in midfield and his powerful effort from 30 yards cannoned against the underside of the crossbar with O'Neil rooted to the spot.
City held out for the win in the end which saw them overtake Stranraer in the league table and into 7th place. It also brought City to within 6 points of Airdrie with 2 games in hand.
It's another hugely important game next weekend for Barry Smith's men as we welcome Stranraer to Glebe Park.
Other Results - Ladbrokes League One
Montrose 2 Forfar Athletic 0
Montrose come out on top in the Angus derby.
Raith Rovers 0 Arbroath 1
The Lichties win top of the table clash.
Stranraer 0 Dumbarton 3
Dumbarton leapfrog Stranraer in the league table.