Match Report - By Steven Mew
City picked up another crucial three points following a pulsating encounter against Buckie Thistle at Glebe Park yesterday afternoon.
With both sides expected to be challenging at the top end of the table, the game had a real cup-tie feel to it in wet conditions.
Manager Andy Kirk made one change to the side that defeated Forres Mechanics last weekend, with Hamish Thomson returning from suspension at the expense of Iain Davidson.
The players initially took some time to adapt to the wet surface and it was City who got the all important opener after 13 minutes. Marc Scott played the ball out wide to Kieran Inglis down the left and his cross evaded everyone in the box which allowed JACK MILNE to nip in behind and slot home from 5 yards out.
Several minutes later City very nearly doubled their advantage when Marc Scott threaded a perfectly weighted ball through for Julian Wade. The Dominican striker took the ball in his stride before his deflected shot looked to be dipping into the net, only for it to come off the crossbar and into the grateful arms of Kevin Main.
The visitors first real opportunity arrived after 21 minutes when they headed against the bar from a corner and shortly after, Sam Urquhart’s strike was comfortably gathered by Wills.
Back came City and on the half hour mark, Kucheriavyi advanced forward with the ball and slipped a pass through for Cammie Ross who was denied by the keeper. Several minutes later, Kucheriavyi again played an excellent ball in behind the defence for Julian Wade who delayed on the shot, with Main doing enough to divert the effort away from goal.
Barely 30 seconds had elapsed in the second half when City were awarded a penalty after KIERAN INGLIS had been bundled over inside the box. Inglis stepped up himself to the take the spot kick and confidently despatched high into the corner for his 7th goal of the season.
City looked to be in firm control of the game however Buckie reacted immediately to half the deficit just two minutes later. The City defence failed to deal with the loose ball inside the box and SAM URQUHART took full advantage to slot under Wills from close range.
It would be a quickfire double from the visitors as they brought themselves level on 52 minutes. Despite some shouts for handball, JACK MURRAY lashed an unstoppable volley into the corner from the edge of the box.
It would have been easy for the heads to go down, however City fought back to take the lead once again on the hour mark. Kieran Inglis was again the architect as he darted down the left hand side before cutting the ball back for MARC SCOTT who supplied a neat finish into the near corner.
City had keeper Jack Wills to thank for keeping the lead intact with two fine saves – firstly keeping out a header from point blank range before making a fine save down low to deny Max Barry.
As the game approached 90 minutes, Wills again proved his worth with an excellent one-handed save to deny substitute Scott Adams.
With the visitors pushing for an equaliser, City almost put the game to bed when Julian Wade surged through on goal but could only fire his effort straight at the keeper who parried away.
Buckie were then reduced to 10 men when Sam Morrison was given his marching orders for denying Wade a goalscoring opportunity. From the resulting free kick, Kevin Main had to be alert to tip over the dipping strike by Kucheriavyi.
There was a real let off for City four minutes into stoppage time when a right sided cross found two Buckie players unmarked at the back post, however neither was able to connect.
Referee Robin Taylor called time on a huge win for City, with another crucial fixture against Inverurie Locos at Harlaw Park on Wednesday.