Match Report - By Steven Mew
In an almost-exact repeat from the corresponding fixture last season, Kevin McHattie proved to be the hero at Mosset Park as his 30-yard wonderstrike earned City a narrow win over Forres Mechanics.
Those in attendance yesterday could be forgiven for having a case of deju-vu as McHattie netted the only goal of the game at the same venue and same end just over 5 months ago, albeit City didn’t have to wait until the last minute this time around.
Manager Andy Kirk went with an unchanged side from the one that defeated Rothes on the opening day, with skipper Iain Davidson the only player missing from the squad.
The first opening of the game fell to the home side when some slack defending allowed a shot at goal however McHattie did well to block the effort.
Backed by a healthy travelling support in the Forres sunshine, City’s first chance arrived after 5 minutes when Marc Scott headed over from a Jamie Bain cross. Shortly after, McHattie saw a volley flash wide of the post.
City had the lions share of possession but struggled to carve out many clear-cut opportunities against a stubborn home defence.
It took a moment of magic from KEVIN MCHATTIE on 27 minutes to open the scoring. The defender collected the ball 30 yards from goal and let fly with a tremendous strike which arrowed into the top corner, giving Knight no chance.
It was without doubt an early contender for goal of the season which even some of the home supporters in attendance had to applaud.
Things got even better for City on the half hour mark when Ben Barron was shown a second yellow for the home side after he was adjudged to have dived on the edge of the box.
Looking to press home their man advantage, City went in search of a second goal before the break. McHattie shot wide from range whilst Cammie Ross latched on to a long ball before lobbing just past the post.
Five minutes before the break, MacLeod threaded a ball into the box for McGrath who saw his initial shot blocked before he forced the keeper into a save from the rebound.
Barely a minute into the second half, Marc Scott came close to doubling the advantage when he chested down a long ball before firing a volley goalwards but Knight did well to tip round the post.
McHattie was getting plenty of shooting opportunities with his strike being deflected wide and the early second half pressure continued with McGrath collected a long ball from McHattie but he snatched at the shot which went straight at the keeper.
Next to threaten was Michael Cruickshank as he headed past from a Jamie Bain cross but the linesman had already flagged for offside. Two minutes later, Euan Spark did well to meet a cross from Cruickshank but his header went inches over.
Jordan Northcott replaced Grady McGrath in the 66th minute and the former St Johnstone younger should have got himself on the scoresheet four minutes after coming on. He broke clear of the Forres defence and rounded the keeper but with the goal at his mercy, he could only find the side netting.
The visitors continued to dominate possession but simply lacked that final pass at times. Six minutes from time Fraser MacLeod latched onto a through ball but the keeper did well to smother the shot and two minutes later, Knight made a fine save to deny Marc Scott.
In the end, City had to settle for a one goal victory which takes them up to 4th in the league table and remarkably the only side yet to concede a goal after two matches.
Andy Kirk’s side have a stern test ahead of them next weekend as we welcome Formartine United, the early league leaders to Glebe Park. Amongst United’s ranks will be former striker Julian Wade who has 5 goals to his name already this season.
Other Results - Breedon Highland League
Brora Rangers 2 Turriff United 1
Buckie Thistle 2 Fraserburgh 1
Deveronvale 2 Lossiemouth 0
Formartine United 6 Strathspey Thistle 1
Huntly 0 Clachnacuddin 1
Inverurie Locos 1 Banks O' Dee 1
Nairn County 2 Rothes 2
Wick Academy 1 Keith 0