Match Report - By Steven Mew
City’s recent winning run came to an end yesterday evening as Inverurie Locos ran out deserved winners at Harlaw Park.
A healthy travelling support headed north with the belief that City could leapfrog their opponents into 2nd in the league table, but those hopes were scuppered by the Locos who simply outfought City on the night.
Manager Andy Kirk made two changes to the side that defeated Buckie Thistle on Saturday. Captain Iain Davidson and David Cox came in for Cammie Ross who dropped to the bench and Jack Milne who was required by parent club Aberdeen.
Playing down the slope, Locos had the first chance of the game on 9 minutes when a corner fell to Kieran Shanks who was denied by Wills from point blank range. Six minutes later, Mark Souter tried his luck from range but saw his effort sail over the bar.
City struggled to carve out many opportunities with David Cox the first to threaten as he glanced wide on 27 minutes and shortly after the half hour mark, Kucheriavyi stung the hands of Andy Reid with a rasping effort from 25 yards.
Seven minutes before the break, Ryan Broadhurst attempted an acrobatic effort following a corner which was dealt with comfortably by Wills.
With things just not clicking for City going forward, Andy Kirk made a change at the break with Cammie Ross replacing Julian Wade.
However, seven minutes into the second half it was the home side that broke the deadlock as talisman NEIL GAULD diverted a corner into the net despite the best efforts of the City defence to keep it out.
A reaction was needed from City and Reid did well to push away a powerful strike from Marc Scott and shortly after, Thomson glanced wide from Paton’s corner.
City continued to search for an equaliser with Cammie Ross threatening twice. On 65 minutes the substitute headed straight at the keeper following a Cox flick on and shortly after, he collected a pass from Scott before slicing wide.
With 20 minutes remaining, the home side gave themselves that all-important two goal cushion when NEIL GAULD dispossessed Hamish Thomson before firing in at the near post.
The Locos looked the more likely to add to their tally against a shellshocked City side with Souter heading straight at Wills from a corner, before Dingwall fired straight at the City keeper from range shortly after.
On 78 minutes Kucheriavyi had a long range effort with flew over the bar - it was a game that even the Ukranian playmaker, who has been hugely influential for City so far this season, failed to flourish.
City rallied briefly in the closing stages and were awarded a penalty as the game entered stoppage time when KIERAN INGLIS was fouled inside the box. For the second game in succession, Inglis won and converted the penalty as he fired past Reid to give City a glimmer of hope.
Any hopes of an unlikely equaliser for City were dashed as referee Joel Kennedy blew the final whistle shortly after on a hugely disappointing night for Andy Kirk and his side.
City have little time to dwell on the result and will aim to bounce back on Saturday as we welcome Huntly to Glebe Park.