Match Report - By Steven Mew
A goal deep into stoppage time by substitute Scott Shepherd denied City what would have been a deserved share of the spoils against Edinburgh City yesterday afternoon.
An intricate finish by veteran striker Paul McManus had cancelled out Alex Harris’ first half opener before City were dealt a cruel blow right at the death as they left the Capital with nothing to show for their efforts.
Manager Barry Smith opted to go with the same side that lost out narrowly to Annan Athletic last weekend, with Ross Brown serving the last game of his suspension.
With the sun beating down at Ainslie Park, City struggled to get into any kind of rhythm as the hosts controlled the opening proceedings.
Edinburgh came close to opening the scoring after just 7 minutes when Ross Sinclair did superbly well to tip a shot from Alex Harris onto the post and minutes later, Robbie McIntyre curled a 25 yard free kick over the bar.
The Citizens went on to take a deserved lead on 22 minutes. Chris Kane made some space for himself down the right hand side of the box before cutting the ball back for ALEX HARRIS who slotted home from 12 yards with the aid of a deflection.
In a similar fashion to last weekend, the goal sparked City to life and almost immediately after the restart, both Crawford and McManus were unlucky not to connect with an inviting McLaughlin cross from the left.
City’s best chance of the half would fall for Ryan McCord shortly after the half hour mark. Some slack defending from the home side allowed McManus to send ‘Pongo’ through on goal but with his weaker left foot, he could only send his effort wide of the far post.
City continued to threaten with Ross Crawford teeing up Matthew Knox just inside the area but he could only drag his shot wide of the target.
The home side came back into it with Jonny Court producing a good from Ross Sinclair before finding the side netting with another effort three minutes later.
As the game approached half time, a deep cross from Scott Reekie found McManus in the centre of the box however he snatched at the shot which ended well over.
Into the second period, Dougie Hill’s flick on from a throw in found McManus but he could only head straight at the keeper. At the other end, a counter attacking move from the Citizens ended with Harris blasting over the bar when he really should have hit the target.
On 57 minutes, City were back on level terms. A ball over the defence by McLaughlin found PAUL MCMANUS who showed all of his experience to get goal-side of Conrad Balatoni before delightfully lifting the ball over the advancing keeper and into the net.
McManus was hungry for more and he was denied when his low shot on the turn was pushed away by Adamson for a corner.
City looked the likelier of the two sides to go on and grab a winner, but they survived a scare four minutes from time when the ball fell kindly for Jonny Court five yards out however he somehow screwed his shot wide of the target.
There was heartbreak, however, for City deep into stoppage time when the hosts grabbed the winner. Following a neat passing move, substitute Scott Shepherd received the ball on the right hand side of the box and he unleashed a low drive into the far corner, giving Sinclair no chance.
For the second week running City will feel they deserved a share of the spoils but will have an immediate opportunity to put the disappointment behind them on Tuesday as we host Elgin City in the Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Cup.
Other Results - Ladbrokes League Two
Albion Rovers 4 Cove Rangers 4
Eight goal thriller at the Reigart Stadium.
Annan Athletic 1 Elgin City 1
Point apiece at Galabank.
Cowdenbeath 1 Stirling Albion 0
Cowden edge out the Binos at Central Park.
Queen's Park 1 Stenhousemuir 1
Stoppage time equaliser earns the Spiders a point at Hampden.