Match Report - By Steven Mew
City’s recent winning run came to an end as fellow Highland League side Buckie Thistle emerged victorious in the first round of the SPFL Trust Trophy yesterday evening.
Manager Andy Kirk had a few selection issues to contend with – loanees Max Kucheriavyi and Jack Milne were unavailable as they both played for their respective clubs’ colt sides in the competition yesterday evening whilst David Cox missed out through suspension.
With registration coming through just earlier in the day, new signings Julian Wade and Ewan Loudon were both included in the squad, starting on the bench.
Fresh off the back of a double-figure win over Keith at the weekend, the visitors started brightly with McAskill shooting over within the opening minute. On the quarter hour mark Max Barry also saw his effort go over the bar before Jack Murray drilled just wide of the post a couple of minutes later.
A disjointed looking City outfit came into the game with Marc Scott shooting straight at the keeper from the edge of the box. Shortly after, a counter-attacking move saw Mackintosh thread a ball through for Scott – the winger bore down on goal but his cross-cum-shot flew across the face of goal with Currie just unable to connect.
Back came the Jags with Sam Urquhart leaping above the City defence to head narrowly wide of the post and the impressive Kevin Fraser was next to threaten but his low strike from 20 yards was comfortably gathered by Wills.
Just after the half hour mark, City came close to opening the goal when Luc Bollan met a corner and a deflection took it onto the crossbar before being cleared to safety.
However it was the visitors who opened the scoring after 34 minutes when SAM MORRISON rose highest to head home a cross from MacAskill.
Manager Andy Kirk would have been looking for a vast improvement in the second period, and he made a change at the break as debutant Julian Wade replaced Rory Currie up front.
It wasn’t long before City restored parity six minutes after the restart. Michael Paton whipped in a pinpoint corner into the box for LUC BOLLAN to send a commanding header past Kevin Main in the Buckie goal.
Julian Wade immediately endeared himself to the City faithful, causing the Buckie rearguard plenty of problems with his direct style of play. The Dominican came close on 66 minutes when he controlled a pass on the edge of the box before curling a shot on the turn which fizzed inches past the post.
At the other end, Wills pushed away a long range effort from McLauchlan and just a couple of minutes later City had Jamie Bain to thank for making a crucial interception to stop an almost certain goal.
Buckie could smell blood and it perhaps came as no surprise when they got themselves in front with quarter of an hour remaining. Despite Wills making a save to keep out an effort from Sam Pugh, he could only push the ball out to SAM URQUHART who converted from a few yards out.
Kieran Inglis - still bearing the scars from a head knock against Deveronvale on Saturday, was introduced to the action immediately after the goal as he replaced Evan Galasso.
With 6 minutes remaining the visitors were reduced to ten men. Wade latched on to a through ball and with just the keeper to beat, he was cynically brought down from behind by Sam Morrison who gave the referee little option but to issue a red for denying a goalscoring opportunity.
With City pushing forward in search of an equaliser, it was the Jags who notched a third goal into added time with CALLUM MURRAY taking full of advantage of some slack defending to seal the win.
Overall, a disappointing result and performance from City who will now turn their attention to bouncing back against Rothes in the league on Saturday.