Match Report - By Steven Mew
City returned to winning ways in the Highland League with a narrow victory over Huntly at Glebe Park yesterday afternoon.
It was another game in which City spurned a number of opportunities which would have made it a more comfortable afternoon, however they did more than enough to merit the all-important 3 points.
Manager Andy Kirk called the changes from the midweek defeat at Inverurie, with Murray Mackintosh, Lyall Booth and Jack Milne all coming into the starting 11.
Milne, who missed the midweek excursion after playing for Aberdeen in the SPFL Trust Trophy was first to threaten after a couple of minutes when his strike flew over from range.
The visitors came close to opening the scoring after 9 minutes when the ball fell kindly for Caiden Imbert-Thomas inside the box however Jack Wills made an excellent reflex save to deny the Englishman.
City reacted to this early scare with Lyall Booth shooting over from a David Cox cross before Marc Scott headed onto the roof of the net following a long ball upfield.
The home side continue to apply the pressure with Jack Milne having a shot blocked inside the box following a corner and the same player would come close a minute later when his downwards header was parried away by Ritchie in the Huntly goal.
Midway through the half Lyall Booth whipped in an inviting delivery which Marc Scott which just unable to connect with at the back post.
The last real action of the half came shortly after the half hour mark when Kucheriavyi was fouled 25 yards from goal. The youngster took the set-piece himself but his effort flew harmlessly over the bar.
Just two minutes after the restart, City were awarded a penalty when MAX KUCHERIAVYI was fouled right on the edge of the box. With regular penalty-taker Kieran Inglis on the bench, Kucheriavyi took the spot kick himself and although he was initially denied by Ritchie, the Ukranian was alert to convert the rebound.
David Cox fired wide on two occasions before the visitors came desperately close to an equaliser on 55 minutes. A corner floated in from the right was met by Michael Clark who was denied by a fine save down low by Jack Wills before the ball was cleared to safety.
Back came City with Scott just unable to connect with a low cross from Cox at the back post and shortly after the hour mark, Cox nodded the ball down for Macintosh whose low shot was saved by the Huntly keeper.
Jamie Bain nearly grabbed his first City goal with a spectacular effort on 66 minutes. The full back came inside on his left foot and his curling effort looked destined for the far corner however Ritchie did supremely well to tip wide.
With five minutes remaining, substitute Cammie Ross burst forward on the break and laid the ball off for Kucheriavyi to advance in on goal but he denied by the feet of the keeper.
City continued to chase for a second goal to kill the game off and following some good work from Booth down the left flank, Inglis was unlucky to see his strike headed off the line.
Deep into stoppage time, Manager Andy Kirk will have been again cursing a lack of composure in front of goal. Cammie Ross did well to dispossess a defender which saw him break clean through, he unselfishly squared the ball across for Kieran Inglis who agonisingly failed to connect with the goal gaping.
Most importantly City picked up the 3 points however will feel it should have been a more comfortable scoreline. Next up is a long trip north to face Wick Academy at Harmsworth Park next Saturday.