Match Report - By Steven Mew
City ended a torrid run of results by fighting back from behind twice to earn a thoroughly deserved win against an in-form Stirling Albion side yesterday afternoon. It was a game in which City keeper Lewis McMinn stole the headlines as he netted an incredible goal from the edge of his own box to seal a crucial victory.
Manager Mark Wilson opted to go with the same side that lost narrowly to Stenhousemuir last weekend – his faith in the same eleven would be repaid with a performance full of fight and endeavour against a side that had only lost twice their last eleven games.
The Binos started the game on the front foot and took the lead after just seven minutes. A ball forward by Ross McGeachie caused some indecision in the City defence which allowed SEAN HEAVER to nip in between Hill and McMinn and prod the ball home.
The home side could smell blood and came close again when Paul Willis slammed a volley over and just a minute later, David Wilson struck the post with a curled effort from the edge of the box.
After a difficult opening quarter of an hour, City started to settle into the game with Paul Allan heading just wide of the target.
City got themselves back on level terms with a well worked goal just after the half hour mark. Ryan McCord collected the ball just inside the box before playing a clever reverse pass for KIERAN INGLIS who timed his run to perfection to slam a left footed shot into the far corner.
As has become customary in recent games, City’s lead didn’t last long as Stirling put themselves back in front 5 minutes later with a goal that came gift wrapped. A fairly innocuous cross into the box wasn’t dealt with by Jonny Page and former City striker DYLAN MACKIN made no mistake as his rifled high into the net.
The topsy turvy nature of the game continued as City were awarded a penalty four minutes later after Kieran Inglis was brought down in the box. Veteran striker PAUL MCMANUS stepped up confidently to slam his penalty down the middle for his 7th goal of the season.
As a pulsating first half approached its end, Sean Heaver tried his luck from range however the effort was high and wide.
Almost immediately after the restart, Dylan Bikey came inside from the left wing before unleashing a powerful shot which curled wide of the goal. At the other end, Ryan McCord’s volley from the edge of the box was comfortably gathered by Currie.
Danny Jardine was next to threaten for the home side but McMinn was equal to his effort from the edge of the box. A minute later meanwhile, an inviting cross by Sean McIntosh looked to be sneaking in at the post only for Currie to push the ball away.
With 56 minutes on the clock, City got their noses in front for the first time in the game. A corner from Paul Allan was headed on by Jonny Page and PAUL MCMANUS, ever the predator, rose highest in the six yard box to nod beyond Currie.
City had their tails up and were spraying the ball about with real confidence against a shell-shocked home outfit. Ryan McCord, who had a fine game pulling the strings in midfield, had a shot from distance which flew over the bar.
Then came the moment of the match as City put clear daylight between the sides with a 4th goal in quite incredible circumstances. From the edge of his area, goalkeeper LEWIS MCMINN struck a long ball upfield which looked to be heading straight towards Blair Currie – however the Stirling stopper completely misjudged the bounce of the ball which went right over his head and rolled into the empty net.
The goal sparked scenes of jubilation amongst the small band travelling supporters and the players on the park as they celebrated the piece of good fortune that they have been starved of so far this campaign.
Not content with being the goal-hero, McMinn then went on to produce two fine saves to deny both Josh Peters and David Wilson as Stirling chased the game, however City defended resolutely to earn a crucial three points and move onto double figures in the league table.
Other Results - Ladbrokes League Two
Albion Rovers 2 Queen's Park 0
A big win for Albion as they see off the Spiders.
Cowdenbeath 0 Elgin City 0
Stalemate at Central Park.
Edinburgh City 2 Cove Rangers 1
Edinburgh emerge victorious from the top of the table clash.
Stenhousemuir 1 Annan Athletic 2
Annan leave it late to snatch the points at Ochilview.