Match Report - By Steven Mew
City moved off the foot of League 2 following a thoroughly deserved victory over Albion Rovers in stormy Coatbridge yesterday afternoon.
It was a hugely welcome three points for City who recorded their first competitive win this calendar year. It is also the first time City have won whilst recording a clean sheet since August 2019, which coincidentally was also away from home against Albion Rovers.
Following the departure of Manager Mark Wilson earlier in the week, Michael Paton took charge alongside Assistant Gerry McCabe. They made four changes to the side that lost at Elgin last weekend with Gregor Jordan, Ross Brown, Leeroy Makovora and Jimmy Scott coming into the starting 11.
City started on the front foot with Jimmy Scott winning a free kick in a dangerous position four minutes in. Connor Barron was unlucky to see his curling effort finish just wide of the post.
Shortly after, Michael Paton dragged a shot wide of the post and on 13 minutes, Jimmy Scott got the better of his his man before volleying wide of goal.
City got their just deserts midway through the half as they opened the scoring. Gregor Jordan showed great vision to find LEEROY MAKOVORA down the left side - the on-loan Hearts attacker skipped inside, beating a defender before lashing an unstoppable shot into the top corner for his first professional goal.
Despite having the wind behind them, the home side struggled to get into the game largely owing to a well drilled City outfit. Albion’s only real effort of the first half came through Matty Aitken but his shot from the edge of the area went harmlessly wide of McMinn’s goal.
Seven minutes before the break, Goodfellow parried away a powerful volley from Matty Todd before Jimmy Scott blazed the rebound over.
City went in at half time with a well-earned lead and with the advantage of having the wind behind them in the second period, there was optimism that they could go on and put the game to bed.
Five minutes after the restart, an in-swinging cross from Barron almost sneaked in at the far post, however Goodfellow did well to get across and push the ball away. From the resulting corner, former City man Aron Lynas did well to block a goal-bound volley from Gregor Jordan.
The driving rain was making conditions difficult for both sides, however City continued to be in complete control of proceedings on a heavy surface.
City made their first substitution on 68 minutes with Przemek Nawrocki replacing goalscorer Leeroy Makovora who undoubtedly enjoyed his best performance in a City shirt to date.
Seconds after the substitution, City went on to give themselves that all-important two goal cushion thanks to an outrageous effort from MATTY TODD. Jimmy Scott battled well to win possession and laid the ball off for Todd who took one step inside and unleashed a powerful left-footed strike which arrowed into the top corner.
It could have easily been 3 for City just a couple of minutes later. A flowing attacking move which originated in defence ended with Todd providing an inch perfect cross for the unmarked Nawrocki - however the Polish striker screwed wide of goal from 8 yards out.
Player-Manager Michael Paton substituted himself for City’s second and final change of the afternoon, making way for Kieran Inglis on 72 minutes.
Lewis McMinn was largely untroubled throughout and it took until stoppage time for Albion to record their first effort on target. The City keeper did well to push away a free kick from Finn Ecrepont to ensure a morale-boosting clean sheet.
Overall, Michael Paton and Gerry McCabe will have been more than satisfied with their sides performance. After conceding an alarming number of goals of late, it was particularly pleasing to see such a solid showing defensively whilst displaying real quality going forward.
The result moves City off the bottom of the table into 8th place, with a home fixture against Stirling Albion on the horizon next weekend.