Match Report - By Steven Mew
City missed the opportunity to drag themselves off the foot of the division as they slipped to defeat against fellow strugglers Cowdenbeath at Central Park yesterday afternoon.
Goals in either half from Craig Barr and former City striker Iain Russell did the damage as City fell three points adrift at the bottom of League 2.
Player/Manager Michael Paton was keen for his side to continue where they left off against Stenhousemuir a fortnight ago, however they were unable to replicate that against the Blue Brazil on a difficult surface.
There were 3 changes to the side as Scott Reekie, Connor Coupe and Jimmy Scott came in at the expense of two trialists who had to settle for a place on the bench, with illness ruling out regular left back Dave McKay.
Despite a fairly promising start, which saw Connor Coupe test home custodian Ross Munro with an effort from range, City fell behind just before the quarter hour mark.
An in-swinging corner from the left hand side was poorly defended in the six yard box and experienced defender CRAIG BARR was on hand to knock the ball home.
On 20 minutes City had strong claims for a penalty when Jimmy Scott appeared to be brought down inside the box and despite the lineman being in a great position, the claims were waved away.
There was a let off for City shortly before the half hour mark when a ball over the top was poorly dealt with by the City defence – this left Graham Taylor with just the keeper to beat but he was unable to get the ball under control and O’Neil gratefully gathered.
The home side continued to threaten with Kyle Miller firing a free kick over the bar from 25 yards, whilst Craig Barr couldn’t keep his header down from a corner five minutes later.
On the stroke of half time, Connor Barron’s corner was nodded back across goal for Jimmy Scott who was unable to loop his header over Munro.
Shortly into the second period, City threatened as Matty Todd headed straight at Munro but it wouldn’t be long before the home side doubled their advantage.
Yet again City’s defending in their own box left a lot to be desired as the ball made its way to IAIN RUSSELL who weaved his way past a couple of players before converting via the inside of the post. In doing so, he netted his 200th senior goal – 29 of those in the red of Brechin.
It was almost three for Cowden five minutes later when a cut-back from the right side was blazed over the bar by Kyle Miller when he should have at least hit the target.
City made their first change shortly before the half hour mark as a trialist replaced Rory Currie and it almost paid dividends immediately. Matty Todd did well to beat his man down the left hand side and his low delivery into the box fell perfectly for the on-rushing trialist who looked set to score from a few yards out – however he was denied by an outstanding point blank save from Munro.
Midway through the half Gregor Jordan headed over from a Barron corner, whilst the hosts had the ball in the net five minutes later through Kris Renton. The goal was ruled out for offside following a terrific initial save from O’Neil to deny substitute Kavanagh.
City would make their second and final change on 78 minutes as Benjamin Luissint replaced Connor Coupe. The game fizzled out at this stage as the home side comfortably held on to their two-goal advantage to record an important win.
A hugely disappointing result for City against a side also struggling for form, however there is little time to dwell on it with Annan visiting Glebe Park for another crucial fixture in midweek.