Match Report - By Steven Mew
City's hopes of automatic safety in League One were dashed as they were beaten comprehensively by Stranraer at Stair Park yesterday afternoon
City were never at the races in the Stranraer sunshine as the Blues moved seven clear of Barry Smith's outfit in the table, confirming their own safety in the process.
The home side came flying out the traps and were two goals ahead after just 12 minutes and despite there being so much at stake, the rest of the game had a real end of season feel about it.
Barry Smith made just one change to the side that picked up a credible point against Arbroath last weekend, with Ross Kavanagh coming in for Craig Thomson who picked up a hamstring injury against the Lichties.
The hosts started brightly with on-loan striker Innes Cameron heading wide on 6 minutes, and they would get their noses in front just 3 minutes later. An excellent turn on the ball from Joao Victoria saw him glide past Paul McLean and he unselfishly squared the ball in the box for MARK LAMONT who stepped inside Scobbie before drilling low into the corner.
City's disastrous start continued as they found themselves two down on 12 minutes. Cameron Elliot made a run down the right hand side before playing a low ball into the box for ALISTAIR MCCANN who had the easy task of slotting home with the City defence all at sea.
The home side continued to dominate possession and Bowman had to be alert to tip a shot from Cameron Elliott over the bar on 23 minutes and from the resulting corner, Alistair McCann's shot was deflected wide by Hill.
City needed a reaction following the break and there would be a slight improvement at the start of the second half. Sean Burns flashed a shot wide of goal and five minutes later Ross Kavanagh came in from the left side and beat his man, however he was denied by the feet of Max Currie in the Stranraer goal.
Midway through the half Andy Jackson struck a volley straight at Currie and several minutes later Michael Miller's shot had the same fate as the Stranraer keeper gathered comfortably.
At the other end, Stranraer thought they had added a third when Victoria seized upon a rebound after Bowman had denied Elliott, but the City keeper managed to stop the ball from crossing the line.
With ten minutes remaining, Sean Burns collected a throw in from the left and shot for goal however Currie turned the ball away for a corner.
With City pushing men forward in search of a lifeline, the hosts wrapped up the win as the game approached stoppage time following a blistering counter attack. A defensive header was collected by CAMERON ELLIOTT who ran almost the entire length of the field before blasting a shot beyond Bowman.
Failing a large swing in goal difference, City's fate is still very much in their own hands. Irrespective of results next weekend, a win for City at home to Stenhousemuir on the final day is likely to be enough to stave off the threat of automatic relegation and a spot in the playoffs.
Other Results - Ladbrokes League One
Arbroath 2 Raith Rovers 2
Champions Arbroath settle for a share of the spoils against Raith.
Dumbarton 3 East Fife 0
The Sons confirm safety with a thumping win over East Fife.
Montrose 2 Airdrieonians 1
Huge win for Montrose as they chase that last playoff spot.
Stenhousemuir 0 Forfar Athletic 3
Stenny remain bottom of the league after heavy home defeat.