Match Report - By Steven Mew
City remain in a perilous position at the foot of League Two following a narrow defeat against fellow strugglers Stenhousemuir yesterday afternoon.
Mark Wilson and his side were desperate for a victory which would have taken them within two points of a Warriors side who had gone into the game off the back of 5 straight defeats.
Instead, it was Davie Irons’ men who extended their lead over City in the table to eight points, having also played a game less.
There were two changes to the side that finally succumbed to Cove a fortnight ago, with Lewis McMinn returning between the sticks whilst Ross Brown came back into the side at the expense of Matthew Knox who dropped to the bench.
With several matches in the SPFL falling victim to the frost, the pitch covers did their job at Glebe Park to allow the game to take place in bitterly cold conditions.
City started the game brightly with Ryan McCord unlucky to see his volley blocked following a cross from Olly Hamilton and the two combined again minutes later, this time with McCord sliding a pass through for Hamilton but his strike was deflected wide.
The visitors opened the scoring with essentially their first real effort on goal after 17 minutes. McMinn kept out a low effort from ex-City full back Jonathan Tiffoney but the ball fell for ALAN COOK on the edge of the box to blast through a ruck of bodies and into the net, with the aid of a deflection.
The goal clearly lifted the spirits of the Warriors with new recruit Botti Biabi denied at the back post by McMinn. A minute later the City stopper again had to be alert to keep out the former Swansea striker, this time pushing a shot away at the near post.
Stenny were well on top at this stage as they pushed for a second goal – with a long range effort from Andy Munro also parried away.
At the other end, Ryan McCord collected a pass from Inglis and made his way into the box before prodding towards goal but ex-City stopper Graeme ‘Buzz’ Smith got down well to save.
With half time approaching, Scott Reekie got on the end of Paul Allan’s corner however his looping header just dropped wide of the post.
In a similar fashion to the first half, City came out and started the second period well and pulled themselves level on 50 minutes. The tireless Olly Hamilton got the break of the ball down the right wing before providing a cross to the back post for RYAN MCCORD who headed beyond Smith with the aid of a deflection off Andy Munro.
Jordan Armstrong headed over for the Warriors and David Hopkirk was next to threaten with an angled shot which flew over the bar.
City keeper Lewis McMinn had been a mere spectator for much of the second half, but City were dealt a sucker punch as the visitors scored what proved to be the winner with 20 minutes remaining. A deep cross into the box was taken down by Hopkirk who teed up DYLAN DYKES to net via the inside of the post.
Mark Wilson made an attacking change with quarter of an hour remaining as striker Emile Ngoy replaced Kieran Inglis and the Frenchman should have taken advantage of a slack backpass five minutes after his introduction but his left footed effort lacked power and was kept out by the legs of Smith.
Ross Crawford came on for Ross Brown with seven minutes remaining as City huffed and puffed in search of an equaliser but were unable to test Smith in the closing stages, with Stenny holding out for a vital win.
Other Results - Ladbrokes League Two
Annan Athletic 6 Cove Rangers 1
An incredible result at Galabank as Annan thrash the league leaders.
Elgin City 1 Stirling Albion 2
Last minute winner hands Stirling a crucial win.
Queen's Park 2 Edinburgh City 1
Queens Park continue their recent revival.