Match Report - By Steven Mew
City got their Highland League campaign off to a winning start against Rothes at Glebe Park yesterday afternoon thanks to a first half goal from Cammie Ross.
Manager Andy Kirk will no doubt be delighted with the 3 points against a side that gave City two extremely tough games last season, however supporters were left pondering how it wasn’t by a more comfortable scoreline with numerous opportunities squandered.
Lenny Wilson, Fraser MacLeod and Grady McGrath all made their competitive debuts for the club whilst there was a start for Euan Spark, now in his second spell with City.
City came flying out the traps and could have been ahead after just 20 seconds when McGrath played an intricate flick into the path of MacLeod who saw his shot blocked. Still within the opening minute, City spurned another glorious opportunity when Cruickshank crossed into the box for Scott who fired over from a few yards out.
On 8 minutes, Scott headed the ball back into the danger area but the ball didn’t quite sit for Ross just a few yards from goal and was scrambled clear by the Rothes defence. Just a minute later, Ross came close again after MacLeod had cut the ball back for him inside the box but he was denied at point blank range by McCarthy.
The visitors had their first real foray up the park after 20 minutes when Lenny Wilson made a fine save to keep out a rasping drive from Steven Mackay from a tight angle.
Midway through the half, Thomson headed wide from Scott’s cross before McGrath was denied by a great block following a low cross from Cruickshank.
City were certainly knocking on the door and they got the goal that they deserved bang on the half hour mark. Scott was the architect as he collected the ball on the right hand side, he darted past several players all the way to the left side of the box before producing the cross for CAMMIE ROSS who bundled into the net from a couple of yards out.
The last real action of the half came after 33 minutes when Bain latched onto a trademark cross-field pass from McHattie but he was unable to get enough on his strike, with McCarthy gathering with ease.
It was a fairly uneventful start to the season half, with the first real opportunity arriving shortly before the hour mark when a Rothes trialist was booked for a foul 25 yards out. Bain stepped up to take the free kick but his curling effort was straight at the keeper.
City came within a lick of paint of doubling the advantage barely a minute later. McGrath’s shot was deflected into the path of MacLeod on the edge of the box and his strike cannoned off the underside of the bar and from the rebound, Scott curled wide of the far post.
The chances kept coming for City and Rothes had their keeper to thank to keeping them in the game on 72 minutes. Scott floated an inch perfect cross into the box for the unmarked McGrath 8 yards out but McCarthy made a stunning save to push his volley over the bar. From the resulting corner, Spark met Bain’s cross perfectly but his powerful header just flashed inches past the post.
With quarter of an hour remaining, Andy Kirk made his first change with goalscorer Cammie Ross coming off for Jordan Northcott, and several minutes later Nathan Cooney came on to get more minutes under his belt as he replaced Euan Spark in defence.
Despite City’s dominance, at 1-0 there was always a concern that Rothes could punish on the break and they weren’t far away nine minutes from time. A trialist saw his strike blocked on the edge of the box and the ball fell for substitute Kyle Whyte who chipped just over the bar.
Almost immediately up at the other end, Patrick burst forward from midfield and exchanged passes with McGrath and despite just having the keeper to beat, he screwed the ball just past the post.
With four minutes remaining, Fraser MacLeod came off to a rapturous applause following an impressive performance in the middle of the park – he was replaced by Ewan Loudon.
As time wore down, Rothes were reduced to 10 men when a trialist was sent off for a second bookable offence and City saw out the game with relative ease to ensure that the three points stayed in Brechin. Next up for City is a trip to face Forres Mechanics who head into the game off the back of a thumping 4-0 victory over Strathspey Thistle.
Other Results - Breedon Highland League
Banks O' Dee 1 Nairn County 1
Buckie Thistle 2 Wick Academy 1
Clachnacuddin 1 Inverurie Locos 3
Fraserburgh 3 Deveronvale 0
Keith 0 Brora Rangers 4
Lossiemouth 1 Formartine United 3
Strathspey Thistle 0 Forres Mechanics 4
Turriff United 2 Huntly 1