Match Report - By Steven Mew
A City side down to the bare bones earned a hard fought point against Stenhousemuir at Glebe Park yesterday evening thanks to Kieran Inglis’ fourth goal of the season.
Despite listing six substitutes, the reality was that City went into the match with only 12 fit outfield players available and huge credit must go them for digging deep to pick up a first point since the restart.
Michael Paton made two changes to the side that lost to Elgin City a week ago, with Gregor Jordan and Kieran Inglis coming in to replace Rory Currie and the suspended Yusuf Hussain.
Within the opening minute, Jack Hodge tried his luck with a dipping volley for the visitors which ended up on the roof of the net whilst at the other end, Sean Slaven did well to turn his man on the edge of the box before seeing his shot blocked.
Shortly after, Slaven was causing problems for the Stenny defence as he twisted and turned past his marker but his strike from 20 yards was straight at the goalkeeper.
City went on to the grab the opening goal following a well-worked move on 12 minutes. Sean McIntosh won possession and fed the ball down the right hand side for Adam Devine – the on-loan Rangers youngster fired in a low cross for the advancing KIERAN INGLIS who showed real composure to control and fire low past Martin.
Inglis could have doubled City’s advantage after 20 minutes when the ball fell kindly for him just inside the box, but he lashed at the volley which flew over.
Shortly before the half hour mark, the visitors were perhaps fortunate not to be down to ten men when former City man Jonathan Tiffoney appeared to kick out at Ewan McLevy during a throw in down the hedge side. Much to the bemusement of the City players and Management, referee Scott Lambie only issued a yellow.
A bitterly cold swirling wind started to pick up at Glebe Park which made conditions difficult for both sides. Stenny dangerman Mark McGuigan came close when he conjured up some space in the box before his shot was deflected wide.
The Warriors pulled themselves level on 36 minutes when JACK HODGE let fly from 25 yards and his shot sailed over the despairing reach of Hutton and into the net.
Just three minutes later the visitors were given a glorious opportunity to put themselves in front when they were awarded a penalty for what appeared to be tugging inside the box at a corner. Mark McGuigan stepped up to take but was denied by a superb save by David Hutton, diving down low to his left.
As half time approached, Scott Reekie won a free kick 25 yards from goal which was curled narrowly wide by Connor Barron. A minute later, a long ball upfield found Reekie who could only volley straight at Paddy Martin in the Stenny goal.
As the wind died down, it was a fairly quiet start to the second half with Connor Barron first to threaten with a 30-yard piledriver which flew just wide of the post.
David Irons’ side started to take control, however, with Ryan Blair, Callum Yeats and skipper Callum Tapping all failing to find the target with their efforts.
On 70 minutes a cut-back from the right hand side saw Barron almost skew the ball into his own net. The resulting corner saw a stramash in the box before Jack Hodge screwed wide.
Although the Warriors were on top at this stage, City would threaten on the break with Paddy Martin spreading himself out well to deny Sean Slaven at the near post.
With ten minutes remaining, a missed clearance by Adam Corbett afforded Scott Reekie a run-in on goal, however the makeshift left winger delayed on the shot and the Stenny defence recovered to clear.
Such is City’s selection problems, Michael Paton made his first and only change of the evening four minutes from time when Sean Slaven hobbled off to be replaced by Chris Paton.
With time running out, both sides pushed for a winner. Chris McKee was unlucky to see his strike blocked for a corner and in deep into stoppage time, substitute Botti Biabi teed up Ryan Blair who curled inches over.
Overall a point apiece was a fair reflection on the game. Although the visitors had more possession and opportunities in the second half, the vast majority of these were from distance.
Attention now turns to a vital fixture at home to fellow strugglers Albion Rovers at Glebe Park on Saturday – a game in which Michael Paton is hopeful of having a number of players back available for.