Match Report - By Steven Mew
Nineteen year-old midfielder Kieran Inglis couldn’t have picked a better time to net his first senior goal as his stoppage time strike earned City a vital three points against Elgin City yesterday afternoon – a result that pulled Mark Wilson’s side off the bottom of League Two.
Although there was no repeat of the 9 goal thriller last month, City supporters would consider the match yesterday to be better value for money as they celebrated a second win of the season – with a real air of renewed optimism around Glebe Park at the final whistle.
The win also saw City move level on points with yesterday’s opponents in the league table, with a crucial fixture against bottom placed Stirling Albion at Glebe Park next weekend.
After signing late in the week, Dunfermline loanee Paul Allan came straight into the starting 11 in what was Mark Wilson’s only change from last weekend, with Emile Ngoy dropping to the bench.
The visitors started brightly with Shane Sutherland, who proved to a real thorn in the flesh in the last encounter, shooting straight at McMinn after 2 minutes and shortly after he fired just wide of the post.
City’s first effort would come through playmaker Ryan McCord who fired a volley over the bar and minutes later he tried to catch the keeper out with an audacious effort from range which dipped just over the crossbar.
On 22 minutes Elgin conjured up the best chance of the half when Sutherland threaded a clever ball through for strike partner Kane Hester however McMinn was off his line quickly and made an excellent save with his feet to deny the Montrose-based frontman.
City were neat and tidy in possession but it was the visitors who continued to pepper shots at the City goal, however these were limited to outside the box without troubling McMinn.
Shortly after the half hour mark McCord was try his luck again from distance with his powerful effort from the edge of the box fizzing just inches past the post.
Almost immediately at the other end City had McMinn to thank for keeping the score level. Sutherland was played in on goal but the City stopper narrowed the angle and saved again with his feet to deny the leagues current top goalscorer.
Five minutes before the break Paul McManus was just centimetres away from connecting with Matthew Knox’s inviting cross in front of goal.
However, just two minutes into the second half the same duo combined to break the deadlock. Knox advanced forward with the ball from midfield and slid a pass through for PAUL MCMANUS - the striker showed real composure to skip past the keeper before slotting into the far corner for his 3rd goal of the season.
McManus came close to bagging his second five minutes later when his effort from just inside the box was tipped round the post by McHale.
SHANE SUTHERLAND continued to trouble the home rearguard as he struck wide of goal, but he was not to be denied shortly before the hour mark as he pulled Elgin level. The former Peterhead striker cut inside from the right wing before curling a tremendous shot into the far corner, giving McMinn no chance.
Ryan McCord was certainly not scared to have a shot throughout the game and he again tried to catch out the keeper from range but McHale backtracked quickly to gather.
Meanwhile, McMinn did well to parry away a shot at the near post from Daniel Mackay and the City keeper would be called into action again when he kept out Sutherland’s effort, with ex-City man Euan Spark hitting the outside of the post from the rebound. Despite the ball clearly striking the woodwork, Elgin were bizarrely awarded a corner much to the frustration of the City support behind the goal.
There was a penalty shout for City when Chris McLaughlin drilled a low ball across the face of goal for Paul McManus who appeared to be dragged down by Spark – however referee Craig Napier waved away the claims.
The tiring Paul Allan, who put in an excellent shift on his debut for City, was replaced by Luke Watt with quarter of an hour remaining.
City would go on to enjoy a good spell with McCord shooting wide and a minute later, substitute Emile Ngoy collected the ball down the right hand side before feeding Inglis in the box who was denied at the near post by McHale. The resulting corner wasn’t dealt with by the Elgin defence and Inglis drilled a volley over the bar.
Although the visitors continued to threaten on the break, City looked the likelier to grab a winner with Luke Watt unlucky to see his shot from range pushed away by the keeper.
City continued to push for the winning goal and got their just deserts a minute into stoppage time after a flowing passing move. Emile Ngoy won possession before knocking into the path of McCord - he supplied a perfectly weighted pass for KIERAN INGLIS who ran beyond the defence to lash an unstoppable shot past McHale at the near post to spark scenes of jubilation from home players and supporters.
The goal would prove the be the last real action of the game as the referee called time on a hugely important win for City as they haul themselves off the bottom of the division.
Speaking to the club’s media team following the game, Manager Mark Wilson was hugely satisfied with the way his side performed, with a notable improvement week on week so far following his appointment.
Other Results - Ladbrokes League Two
Cove Rangers 3 Annan Athletic 0
Cove's title charge shows no signs of slowing down after a convincing win over Annan.
Cowdenbeath 1 Albion Rovers 0
Cowden continue their fine start to the season with a narrow win over Albion.
Edinburgh City 2 Queen's Park 1
The Citizens stay in 2nd after edging out Queens Park at Ainslie.
Stirling Albion 1 Stenhousemuir 1
Despite a late equaliser, Stirling drop to the foot of the table.