Match Report - By Steven Mew
Two goals within the opening quarter of an hour did the damage as league leaders Queen’s Park proved too strong for City at Glebe Park yesterday afternoon.
City didn’t have their troubles to seek, with no fewer than six players unavailable including the experience of Gerry McLauchlan, Abdul Osman and Player/Manager Michael Paton.
There would be four changes from the side that played Stranraer on Tuesday, with Sean McIntosh, Ewan McLevy, Kieran Inglis and Connor Coupe coming in.
The full timers, who benefited from a full week to prepare for the game, came flying out the traps. Within the opening few minutes, City keeper David Hutton was called to into action twice to keep out a free kick from Kouider-Aissa and a rasping long range effort from Bob McHugh.
The visitors kept the pressure on and took the lead on four minutes. Jai Quitingo received the ball on the right hand side and left Sean McIntosh in his wake to fire in a dangerous low cross which appeared to be diverted into his own net by HARRIS O’CONNOR.
City’s first real effort arrived on 9 minutes when Connor Coupe attempted a speculative effort from range however the ball sailed well over.
The Spiders’ were causing City no end of problems, particularly down the right hand side and they would go on to double their advantage on the quarter hour mark. Michael Doyle delivered a cross which bounced across the face of goal and LOUIS LONGRIDGE stooped to conquer at the back post.
City supporters could be forgiven for fearing the worst at this stage with the visitors looking extremely dangerous going forward - however City did settle into the game after a disappointing start.
On 20 minutes Sean Slaven was fouled 25 yards from goal with Willie Muir getting down well to keep out the resulting free kick from Connor Barron. Queen’s attacked quickly on the counter with Kouider Aissa having a shot blocked before Hutton pushed away an effort from Longridge at his near post.
There would be a let off for City on 26 minutes when the impressive Quitongo again had the beating of McIntosh to deliver a cut-back for Grant Gillespie who somehow blazed over from six yards.
On the stroke of half time, Hutton made a fine save to deny Kouider-Aissa from the edge of the box before Longridge dragged the rebound wide.
Following a difficult first half, Michael Paton made two changes at the break with Gregor Jordan and Chris McKee replacing Sean McIntosh and Kieran Inglis.
Seven minutes into the second period, Hutton continued to impress in the City goal as he clawed away a header from Lee Kilday when it looked as if the ball had gone beyond him.
Just before the hour mark, on-loan Rangers defender Harris O’Connor strode forward with the ball before unleashing a strike from 25 yards which dipped narrowly over.
Much to the relief of the City rearguard, the livewire Jai Quitongo left the field to be replaced by Ross MacLean on 62 minutes, whilst Rory Currie came on for Sean Slaven up front for City.
Kouider-Aissa was gifted a glorious opportunity on 70 minutes when a slack pack-pass from Connor Barron sent him one-on-one with Hutton. However the on-loan Aberdeen youngster did supremely well to race back and make amends with a well timed challenge just as the Queens’ striker was away to pull the trigger. From the resulting corner, Hutton did well to tip over a header from Kouider-Aissa.
Any slim hopes City had of getting back into the game were banished 15 minutes from time when Bobby Barr was given his marching orders. The City winger appeared to lead with his elbow in an aerial challenge and referee Peter Stuart had little hesitation in showing a red card.
Despite the one-man disadvantage, Michael Paton’s side continued to plug away. Substitute Chris McKee was fouled around 25 yards out the on-loan Rangers striker took the free kick himself which was straight at Muir.
City’s final change came eight minutes from time when Harris O’Connor appeared to pick up a slight injury and was replaced by fellow Gers loanee Adam Devine.
The Spiders’ were unable to add to the scoreline in the closing stages, with Ross MacLean the last to threaten - striking a volley over from a left sided cross.
Overall, City were well beaten on the day by a strong side but did grow into the match after a torrid start. The hectic schedule continues as Elgin City are the visitors to Glebe Park on Tuesday evening.