Match Report - By Steven Mew
City's League One survival hopes were dealt a blow following a heavy defeat against near neighbours Montrose at Glebe Park yesterday evening.
If ever you need a reminder how quickly fortunes can change in football - this time last week City were coming off the back of consecutive 2-0 wins on the road, which has now been followed with up with back to back 3-0 defeats on home soil.
After a busy schedule of late, Manager Barry Smith opted to freshen up his starting 11 with Ryan McGeever and Kalvin Orsi coming into the side at the expense of Lewis Toshney and Sam Jamieson.
Whilst City are battling for points at the bottom end of the division, Montrose meanwhile are performing above all pre-season expectations as they gun for the last promotion playoff spot following recent wins over Stenhousemuir and Stranraer.
The home side conjured up the first opportunity of the game on 5 minutes when Kalvin Orsi slammed a shot just wide of the post, but City found themselves behind just a few minutes later.
A long ball forward was challenged by Paddy O'Neil and Ross Campbell inside the area and as Jamie Redman pounced on the loose ball, he went down under the challenge of Ryan McGeever with referee Gavin Ross having no hesitation in pointing to the spot. ROSS CAMPBELL stepped up and made no mistake, sending O'Neil the wrong way to put the visitors ahead.
Things went from bad to worse for City on 17 minutes when the Gable Endies doubled their advantage. A cross from full back Andrew Steeves found ROSS CAMPBELL who grabbed his second, glancing into the far corner with O'Neil rooted to the spot.
City reacted positively to going two behind and came close to pulling a goal back almost immediately. The hard working Thomson did well to beat his man down the right side of the box before drilling a low ball in for Orsi who was denied by a point blank save from Fleming.
Shortly after, home skipper Paul McLean failed to deal with a long ball from Sean Dillon and striker Euan Henderson almost took advantage when he latched on to the loose ball however his effort was palmed away by O'Neil.
The visitors were more than worthy of their two goal advantage at the break. Barry Smith made two changes at half time as he look to shake things up after a flat opening 45 from his side - with Paul McLean and Sean Burns making way for Euan Spark and Sam Jamieson.
However it was Montrose who would remain on the front foot with Lewis Milne flashing a free kick wide and the same player would come close again shortly when his header had to be tipped over the bar.
Substitute Sam Jamieson collected a flick on from Andy Jackson but he failed to get enough contact on his shot to trouble Fleming in the Montrose goal.
City's arduous task of getting back into the game would become even more difficult 15 minutes from time when Ryan McGeever was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Martin Rennie at the half way line.
It didn't take long for Montrose to make the most of the numerical advantage as they put the game beyond doubt two minutes later with a well worked move. Ex-City midfielder JAMIE REDMAN collected a pass from substitute Antoniazzi inside the box - he played a clever one-two with Martin Rennie before slotting low past a helpless O'Neil to send the sizeable travelling support behind the goal into raptures.
With the game now well and truly over as a contest, City rallied briefly in the closing stages. Craig Thomson screwed a shot wide whilst Sam Jamieson, who put in a tireless shift up top after coming on at half time, fired a shot wide before Fleming got down well to keep him out a minute later.
Referee Gavin Ross called time on a bleak evening for City but credit must go to Stewart Petrie and his Montrose side who were well drilled and have thoroughly deserved to come out on top in all four meetings between the sides this season.
The crucial games continue to come thick and fast as City look to pick themselves up ahead of a trip to 7th placed Dumbarton on Saturday. The Sons currently sit one point ahead of City in League One following their entertaining 3-3 draw against Airdrieonians yesterday evening.
Other Results - Ladbrokes League One
Dumbarton 3 Airdrieonians 3
Six goal thriller at the C&G Systems Stadium.