Match Report - By Steven Mew
City and Darvel have it all to do again at Recreation Park on Saturday as a second half equaliser from David Cox earned Andy Kirk's side a deserved Scottish Cup 3rd replay yesterday evening.
In front of the live BBC cameras, there was very little between the two in-form sides with a draw a fair reflection of the game.
City received a boost pre-match as the club received permission from parent club St Johnstone to allow playmaker Max Kucheriavyi to feature, although Iain Ross deputised for keeper Jack Wills who was unavailable.
City were the first to threaten after 6 minutes when Kuchieriavyi’s cross from the left hand side was headed over by David Cox.
The home side continued to have the upper hand with Marc Scott scampering down the right wing before supplying a low cross for Garry Wood who knocked just wide at the near post.
Iain Ross was called into action for the first time midway through the half when Darren Miller’s corner was only cleared as far as Scott Ferguson on the edge of the box, but his strike was deflected into the arms of the City keeper.
Shortly after the half hour mark Garry Wood intercepted the ball 30 yards out and advanced forward before unleashing a powerful strike which was well blocked.
It was the visitors who broke the deadlock on the 33 minute mark. Craig Reid did well to guide a cross into the box for former City man JORDAN KIRKPATRICK who lashed an unstoppable volley beyond Ross.
Darvel had their tails up and Kirkpatrick could have doubled the advantage just a couple of minutes later when his glancing header was well saved down low by Ross.
The pace of Marc Scott down the right hand side caused some problems for the visitors defence and he would threaten for City 7 minutes before the break when he cut inside and fired over.
With City not quite at the races in the first half, Manager Andy Kirk changed the shape of his side and this would result in a marked improvement from his side in the second period.
Just a few minutes after the restart Garry Wood came close when his strike from 20 yards was tipped over the bar by the Darvel keeper.
City reaped the rewards for a positive start to the second half as they pulled themselves level after 56 minutes. Garry Wood played a pass to DAVID COX on the edge of the box and he powered his way past the Darvel defence and fired a crisp half volley beyond Truesdale. The goal was met with a rapturous roar as ‘Coxy’ celebrated with the elated City supporters in the Cemetery End.
On the hour mark City had Iain Ross to thank for keeping the scoreline level as he was quick off his line to deny Scott Ferguson with his feet and shortly after, skipper Darryl Meggatt headed over from Miller’s corner.
Top scorer Marc Scott simply didn’t have his shooting boots on as he drilled over the bar after being teed up by Inglis, whilst Iain Davidson came desperately close to putting City in front when glanced inches wide from Kucheriavyi’s corner.
With 20 minutes remaining, Julian Wade was introduced to the action for Garry Wood as both sides huffed and puffed in the closing stages in search for a winning goal, but ultimately they couldn’t be separated on the night.
The two sides have it all to do again this coming Saturday as we travel to Recreation Park for the replay (3pm kick off). The winner of the tie will face a tough trip to Championship side Arbroath in the 4th round.