Match Report - By Steven Mew
Following a run of consecutive defeats, a battling City side picked up a welcome point and clean sheet against Annan Athletic at Glebe Park yesterday evening.
A share of the spoils was the very least Michael Paton’s side deserved - with City desperately unlucky not to force the winner they craved during a particularly impressive second half showing.
There were two changes to the side that lost at Cowdenbeath on Saturday as Jonathan Page returned to the action following a month out whilst new signing Chris Paton came into the starting 11, taking his place alongside Jimmy Scott upfront.
Both sides struggled to get into any kind of rhythm during an instantly forgettable first half. Connor Coupe was the first to threaten for City on 5 minutes when his strike from the edge of the box was comfortably saved by Alex Mitchell.
That was as good as it got for either side until the half hour mark when Owen Moxon curled a free kick over the bar for the visitors. Just a minute later, Paddy O’Neil did well to deny Aidan Smith from close range however the flag was already up for offside.
Coupe would again try his luck from the edge of the box for City but his strike was straight at Mitchell. The Galabankies conjured up the best chance of the half four minutes from the break when Owen Moxon created some space on the edge of the box before unleashing a strike which whistled just inches past the post.
At the start of the second half, City were caught sleeping following a quick free kick however Michael Paton did well to recover and block a shot from Max Wright.
Rory Currie replaced Jimmy Scott on 55 minutes as City started to grow into the game. Chris Paton had a pop from range which dipped just over the crossbar and a few minutes later, the ball fell to Connor Barron on the edge of the box but he was unable to connect properly with his volley which flew wide.
Shortly after, a cross from the right by Ewan McLevy found Matty Todd inside the box but his shot was blocked by the Annan defence for a corner.
Against the run of play, the visitors almost broke the deadlock on 70 minutes. Gregor Jordan did well to block an effort inside the box however the ball ricocheted off the unfortunate Michael Paton and much to the relief of the home side, it came back off the post before being cleared to safety.
With the game approaching the final ten minutes, the fitness of the City players appeared to shine through as they pushed forward in search of what would have been a vital winner.
Connor Barron’s curling free kick from 20 yards looked goalbound, however Mitchell did well to tip over. From the resulting corner, the Annan keeper made a excellent save to deny Michael Paton from point blank range and following a scramble in the 6 yard box, Jonathan Page struck the post.
It was like a scene from the alamo at this stage as City continued to flood forward and a couple of minutes later another glorious opportunity was spurned. Connor Coupe burst through the heart of midfield before slipping a ball through for Rory Currie who timed his run to perfection but with just the keeper to beat, he was denied by the feet of Mitchell.
That would prove to be the last action of the game as City had to settle for a share of the spoils, which in turn brought them to within two points of Albion at the bottom, albeit having played a game more.
The fixtures continue to come thick and fast, with East of Scotland Premier Division outfit Linlithgow Rose the visitors to Glebe Park on Boxing Day for a Scottish Cup 1st round tie.