Match Report - By Steven Mew
City slipped back into a relegation playoff spot following a narrow defeat against fellow strugglers Dumbarton at the C&G Systems Stadium yesterday afternoon.
It would prove to be a third defeat in the space of a week as City continue to battle against the threat of successive relegations. Although City ultimately returned east with nothing to show for their efforts, there was a marked improvement from the last two games.
Manager Barry Smith was far from happy with his sides showing against Montrose in midweek and he made three changes to the starting lineup in search of a winning formula.
Graham Bowman would make his City debut as he replaced Paddy O'Neil in goal whilst Michael Miller made his first start for the club at the expense of Kalvin Orsi. Ryan McGeever, who saw red against the Gable Endies on Tuesday, served a one match ban with Lewis Toshney coming back into the side to take his place.
City would take the lead on 17 minutes thanks to DOUGIE HILL'S 3rd goal in 5 matches. The defender did well to get on the end of a corner from Tam Scobbie to send a powerful downwards header beyond Grant Adam.
Brechin probably enjoyed the better of the opening 25 minutes but Jim Duffy's outfit started to grab a foothold in the game.
Dom Thomas, who was a constant thorn in the flesh the last time the sides met in Dumbarton, came close when he got the better of two defenders with a dummy but his right footed strike was tipped over by Bowman.
The resultant corner fell for Gallagher in the six yard box but he could only hook his effort over and just a minute later ex-City winger Bobby Barr beat Paul McLean down the left but he couldn't keep his effort down.
The game would be turned on its head as the hosts grabbed two goals in as many minutes. Bobby Barr whipped an in-swinging cross into the danger area and, in an attempt to flick the ball away, DOUGIE HILL could only divert his header into his own net.
Worse was to come shortly after when the Sons got themselves in front with an entirely preventable goal from a City perspective. Graham Bowman gave a shout to his defence to claim a free kick that was launched high into the box however CALLUM GALLAGHER nipped in ahead of the City keeper to nod into the net.
City could perhaps feel unfortunate to be a goal down at the break after a reasonably even 45 minutes however were left to rue defensive lapses yet again.
There was a blow for City just seven minutes into the second half when Lewis Toshney went down in clear distress after blocking a shot and landing awkwardly. The defender was stretchered off the park and with the extent of the injury yet to be confirmed, everyone at the club will be hoping it isn't as bad as first feared and wish 'Tosher' a speedy recovery.
Kalvin Orsi came on to replace him as Smith re-shuffled his side, with Paul McLean moving in to the centre and Craig Thomson to right back.
On 54 minutes Mikey Miller latched on to Dougie Hill's knockdown inside the box but his lobbed effort just went wide of the far post.
City would continue to threaten shortly after the hour mark with Craig Thomson striking wide and Kalvin Orsi would come agonisingly close a minute later when he saw his angled shot come off the inside of the post after being teed up by Euan Smith.
There was a let off for City at the other end when Dom Thomas got to the byline before pulling the ball back for Bobby Barr who could only drag his effort wide with the goal at his mercy.
City rallied in the closing stages in search of an equaliser. A cross from Sean Burns was volleyed over by Robertson before Paul McLean stung the hands of Adam who pushed away the City skippers shot for a corner.
With just a minute of normal time remaining, Barry Smith threw on Jordan Tapping for Sean Burns and deployed him upfront to try and throw a spanner in the works with his aerial ability. City, however, would only conjure up one more opportunity with Tam Scobbie striking just past the upright from 30 yards.
Overall, another damaging defeat particularly with results elsewhere going against City. Stranraer picked up a 2-1 win over Forfar at Stair Park to leapfrog City into 8th, whilst Stenhousemuir picked up a hard earned point at home to Raith Rovers to bring them to within two points at the bottom.
A larger than usual crowd is expected at Glebe Park next weekend as City play host to Arbroath who require just one point to clinch the League One title. However if Raith Rovers drop points at home to Stranraer, the Championship will be confirmed for Dick Campbell's side regardless of the result.
Other Results - Ladbrokes League One
Airdrieonians 0 East Fife 0
Stalemate at the Penny Cars Stadium between two sides chasing the promotion playoffs.
Arbroath 1 Montrose 0
Arbroath grab win over local rivals but champagne remains on ice.
Stenhousemuir 1 Raith Rovers 1
Raith net equaliser deep into added time to break Stenny hearts.
Stranraer 2 Forfar Athletic 1
Stranraer boost their survival hopes with narrow win over the Loons.