Match Report - By Steven Mew
City’s Betfred Cup campaign ended with defeat to Lowland League outfit Kelty Hearts at Glebe Park yesterday afternoon.
The defeat means City finish bottom without a point to show in what was a strong group including two Premiership sides.
Crowned Champions of the Lowland League after the 2019/20 season was curtailed due to the pandemic, Kelty have invested heavily in their playing squad and boast an array of talent within their ranks with considerable SPFL experience.
For City, there was a debut for new signing Ewan McLevy at right back, with Scott Reekie and Kieran Inglis also coming into the starting eleven as Michael Paton made 3 changes to the side that lost heavily to Stirling Albion last weekend. With Dave McKay absent through sickness, Scott Reekie filled in at left back.
City started the game brightly and after 4 minutes, Connor Barron glided past his man down the left hand side before striking for goal, however Jamieson was equal to it at his near post.
At the other end, Lewis McMinn got down well to save a long range effort from Dylan Easton and on the quarter hour mark, Kallum Higginbotham clipped wide after some neat build up play.
Although Kelty had much of the possession, they were restricted to few chances by a resolute City side who looked to attack on the counter. On 24 minutes Michael Paton tried his luck from range but Jamieson got down well to gather.
The visitors almost nudged themselves in front when a ball in behind the City defence found Higginbotham but McMinn was quick off his line to block the shot.
On the half hour mark, McMinn was barely troubled by a 25-yard free kick from Jamie Stevenson and on the stroke of half time, Ross Philp burst into the box but could only find the side netting.
City could be content with their first half performance however as has become customary in home matches so far this season, the good work would be undone by conceding early in the second period.
Former Forfar midfielder DYLAN EASTON exchanged passes with Higginbotham on the edge of the box and his crisp strike found the bottom corner with McMinn rooted to the spot.
The provider almost turned goalscorer as Higginbotham dragged a shot wide of the far post and shortly after, some slack play from City in midfield was almost punished by substitute Nathan Austin who was just inches away from finding the corner with his shot.
On the hour mark, Darren Jamieson made a fine save with his feet to keep out a strike from Matty Todd after a corner had fallen kindly for him inside the box.
City continued to get forward in search of a leveller and several minutes later, the ball sat up nicely for Paton on the edge of the box but his snap-shot was straight into the grateful arms of Jamieson.
With quarter of an hour remaining, City spurned a glorious opportunity to equalise. Jimmy Scott was played in on goal and with just the goalkeeper to beat, he unselfishly squared the ball across for Matty Todd. Unfortunately the pass was just behind the on-loan Dunfermline man which allowed the Kelty defence to get back and block the effort.
City were made to pay just four minutes later as Kelty gave themselves some breathing space with a second goal. Higginbotham was again the architect as he played a fine reverse pass inside the box for substitute ROBBIE MCNAB to slot the ball low beyond McMinn from 12 yards.
The home side continued to plug away in the closing stages as they looked for a route back into the game with Connor Barron having a shot pushed away for a corner. After the resulting corner had been cleared, Kelty broke forward and Nathan Austin forced a fine save from McMinn in what proved to be the last chance of note in the match.
With the Betfred Cup action now over for City, attention now turns to the bread and butter of League 2 with a tough trip to face Queens Park at Hampden awaiting Michael Paton’s side next weekend.