Match Report - By Steven Mew
City played out their second draw in the matter of several days following a stalemate against promotion chasing East Fife at Glebe Park yesterday evening.
With both sides battling for points for entirely different reasons as we enter the business end of the season, it made for a real competitive encounter with the end result a fair reflection on the game.
Barry Smith opted to tweak the side that had to settle for a point at 9-man Stenhousemuir on Saturday with Craig Thomson returning from suspension to face his former side whilst Sam Jamieson made his first start for the club since signing on loan from St Mirren. This meant Ryan McGeever and Ross Kavanagh dropped to the bench.
With the injury situation starting to ease, City were able to list a full compliment of seven substitutes for the first time since the defeat to East Fife in October.
East Fife started brightly and enjoyed much of the ball in the opening stages with City struggling to keep possession, although the visitors struggled to create much in the way of opportunities.
In fact it was City who were first to threaten after 21 minutes when Kalvin Orsi struck a low drive against the side netting following a throw in.
The visitors had their first notable chance shortly after the half hour mark when ex City man Mark Docherty swung in a cross for Darryl Meggatt who was just unable to turn the ball in at the back post.
On the stroke of half time, the ball fell for Docherty 30 yards from goal but his drilled effort was comfortably gathered by O'Neil in the City goal.
City started the second half on the front foot and a few minutes in Craig Thomson had a shot deflected into the arms of Daniel Terry who was deputising for the injured Brett Long.
City stopper Patrick O'Neil has been in inspired form since being given his chance in the side and he showed his worth yet again on 54 minutes. Pat Slattery picked out Jonny Court with an inviting cross but his header was superbly tipped over the bar by O'Neil.
Barry Smith made his first change of the evening on the hour mark with Ross Kavanagh replacing Sam Jamieson, but the home side fell out the game slightly as East Fife pushed more men forward in search of the opener - however they were largely limited to half chances by a hard working City rearguard.
Ross Davidson had an effort deflected wide and from the resultant corner, a stramash ensued in the box before the ball was cleared to safety.
On 73 minutes City would come the closest to scoring. Craig Thomson battled to keep possession before feeding Scobbie down the left - his low cross was met by Jackson at the near post but Terry was quick to react with a fine save. Four minutes later Dougie Hill attempted an audacious overhead kick but his effort went wide of the goal.
Seven minutes from time, the vastly experienced Scott Robertson rolled back the years with an acrobatic volley which flew just wide of the post.
It was the Fifers who looked the likelier to grab a winner in the closing stages but the City defence stood firm with two excellent blocks to deny Kevin Smith.
So a point apiece it finished - a result which puts City three points ahead of bottom placed Stenhousemuir and within two points of Stranraer ahead of a big local derby at home to an in-form Forfar side at Glebe Park on Saturday.
Although frustrated at the lack of goalscoring opportunities, Manager Barry Smith will be pleased with the clean sheet for his side and a point that may well prove crucial come May.