Match Report - By Steven Mew
A penalty five minutes from time denied City what would have been a second win at the Reigart Stadium this season against Albion Rovers.
Kieran Inglis had given City the lead early in the second half, also from a spot kick – but they were unable to hold on to what would have been another confidence-boosting result after picking up a deserved victory over Cowdenbeath in the last away fixture.
With Michael Paton’s side already confirmed as Club 42 and Rovers with little to play for themselves other than 6th place, the first half went by with little incident.
Following a hectic schedule and perhaps one eye on the pivotal playoffs on the horizon, there were no fewer than nine changes to the City side that lost to Annan on Thursday evening with only on-loan Rangers duo Harris O’Connor and Chris McKee keeping their place.
The first opportunity of the game fell to City on 8 minutes when Sean Slaven did well to hold up the ball on the edge of the box following a long kick out from O’Neil. He teed up Chris McKee who saw his shot blocked and from the rebound, Adam Devine had a strike deflected wide.
City were forced into an early substitution midway through the half when Harris O’Connor went down with an injury and he was replaced by Yusuf Hussain.
The hosts strugged to carve open a stubborn City defence with Paddy O’Neil, making his first start since keeping a clean sheet against Annan in December, largely untested in goal.
Six minutes before the break, a cut-back from Sean Devine was diverted into the path of Scott Reekie but effort from the edge of the box and was charged down and deflected safely into the hands of home custodian Harry Stone.
The game did eventually spark into life early in the second half. A minute after the restart Paddy O’Neil had to be alert to make a tremendous point-black save to deny former City loanee Sam Jamieson.
Two minutes later City would come close to the opener at the other end when Kieran Inglis whipped in a cross for Sean Slaven who saw his header come off the outside of the post.
The hectic end-to-end nature continued on 50 minutes when the home side really should have taken the lead. A low cross by Kyle Doherty was inch perfect for top scorer Matty Aitken who somehow blazed over from just a few yards out.
Buoyed by that let-off, City themselves went on to open the scoring two minutes later when referee Steven Reid awarded a penalty following a foul on Sean Slaven in the box. KIERAN INGLIS stepped up confidently and despatched the spot kick for his 5th goal of the season.
With ten minutes remaining, Abdul Osman curled a free kick just wide of goal after Scott Reekie had been fouled 20 yards out.
Just as it looked like City were closing in on just their third league win of the season, the home side were awarded a penalty five minutes from time when James McGowan went down under the challenge of Luc Bollan. MATTY AITKEN drew the home side level as he placed the spot kick into the corner, sending O’Neil the wrong way.
The hosts were reduced to ten men deep into stoppage time when former City favourite Aron Lynas was given his marching orders for a dangerous lunge on Abdul Osman. Tempers flared and a brief melee broke out which saw both James McGowan and Ewan McLevy booked for their involvement.
City now head into their final league game of the season against Stenhousemuir at Glebe Park on Tuesday looking for a positive result to take into the playoffs against either Brora Rangers or Kelty Hearts.