Match Report - By Steven Mew
A hat-trick from Garry Wood and a first City goal for Ewan Loudon earned a comfortable win in the end against a battling Fort William side at Glebe Park yesterday afternoon.
The visitors arrived at Glebe Park with a much-changed squad under new Manager Shadab Iftikhar and they proved to be a tough nut to crack.
Manager Andy Kirk handed debuts to on-loan defender Nathan Cooney and midfielder Seth Patrick whilst also casting his eye over a trialist striker.
City very nearly grabbed an early opener when Jamie Bain’s delivery was headed against the underside of the crossbar by Hamish Thomson.
On 11 minutes a corner from Michael Paton fell kindly for Garry Wood at the back post but he couldn’t quite adjust his footing and his effort dribbled narrowly wide.
Midway through the half Michael Paton was fouled around 25 yards from goal and Jamie Bain very nearly caught the keeper out with the free kick which cannoned off the top of the crossbar.
A couple of minutes later City deservedly took the lead when an inswinging cross from Michael Cruickshank was glanced into the net by GARRY WOOD.
It was nearly a quickfire second when the trialist striker fired a shot from the edge of the box which was pushed away by Kulbacki, before Michael Paton fired high and wide.
The game threatened to boil over on the half hour mark when a challenge from Michael Paton resulted in a mass brawl but after consulting with his linesman, stand-in referee Anton Brown only cautioned two players, including Seth Patrick.
Just a couple of minutes into the second half, a right sided cross from Jamie Bain was knocked down into the path of the trialist just five yards from goal but his shot was weak, which allowed Kulbacki to save with his feet.
The visitors’ task was made considerably more difficult on 49 minutes when Yves Zama was shown a second yellow card for a dangerous lunge on Jamie Bain.
The sending off did not change things majorly, with City continuing to struggle against a Fort side that were quick to close down.
Garry Wood had the ball in the net on the 53rd minute but the linesman had already flagged for offside, whilst on the hour mark Jamie Bain again hit the woodwork when his audacious effort from 25 yards came off the junction of bar and post.
Top-scorer Marc Scott, fresh from signing a contract extension, was introduced to the action as he replaced the trialist. He very nearly made an immediate impact as he collected a pass from Garry Wood but fired wide at the near post and shortly after, ‘Marco’ would threaten again but his strike was straight at the keeper.
City eventually doubled the advantage after 69 minutes. Marc Scott’s cross was knocked down by Bain into the path of GARRY WOOD who fired past Kulbacki from close range.
With quarter of an hour remaining, City were awarded a penalty when substitute Ewan Loudon was fouled on the edge of the box. There was little doubt over who was taking the penalty, with GARRY WOOD confidently stroking the ball into the corner for his hat-trick.
Following a near passing move 9 minutes from time, Murray Mackintosh strung the hands of the Fort keeper with a shot from the edge of the box.
The scoring was rounded off with the last kick of the ball as EWAN LOUDON grabbed his first City goal, and it was worth the wait. The youngster let fly from 20 yards with the ball nestling into the bottom corner, giving the goalkeeper no chance.
It was job done for City against what appears to be a much improved Fort William side that will fancy their chances of picking up a few positive results between now and the end of the season. Next up for Andy Kirk’s men is a long trip to face 3rd placed Brora Rangers at Dudgeon Park next Saturday.