Match Report - By Steven Mew
City progressed to the second round of the SPFL Trust Trophy following a penalty shootout win over Hibernian B at New Victoria Park yesterday evening.
Manager Andy Kirk made just one change from the side that defeated Formartine United at the weekend, with defender Nathan Cooney making his first competitive start since January at the expense of Ewan Loudon.
On an extremely dry surface, City were first to threaten after 7 minutes when Jordan Northcott had a shot saved by home custodian Murray Johnson at his near post.
Northcott would come close again midway through the half when he drove forward from midfield and his long range strike was deflected into the keepers arms.
On 26 minutes City came within a lick of paint of opening the scoring. Northcott was again involved when he got down the left side before supplying a low cross for Grady McGrath whose strike crashed off the underside of the crossbar.
A minute later, Jamie Bain swung in an inviting corner which was headed narrowly over by Euan Spark.
Towards the end of the half, Marc Scott glided forward before striking iches wide of the post and just a minute later, the City winger showed the Hibs defence a clean pair of heels but was unable to sort his feet out with just the keeper to beat.
The home side struggled to carve out many openings and their first real sight of goal came 4 minutes into the second period when Josh O’Connor, son of former Hibs hero Garry, flashed a shot wide of the far post.
Dylan Tait, who had loan spells at Raith Rovers and Kilmarnock last season, stung the gloves of Lenny Wilson with a 20 yard free kick on 53 minutes.
City made a double change on the hour mark with Iain Davidson and Ewan Loudon replacing Euan Spark and Grady McGrath respectively.
Jamie Bain made a terrific block to deny O’Connor on 66 minutes and from the resulting corner, the ball fell for substitute Kanayochukwu Megwa in a packed penalty box but he could only scrape the ball wide.
Hibs were coming more and more into the game but it was City that broke the deadlock after 71 minutes. A long clearance upfield from Lenny Wilson found JORDAN NORTHCOTT who got goalside of the defender before lobbing the advancing keeper and into the net.
With quarter of an hour remaining, Kieran Inglis made his return from injury as he replaced Fraser MacLeod who had put in another sterling performance in the heart of midfield.
City had looked relatively comfortable however they were pegged back just 6 minutes from time when ETHAN LAIDLAW got in behind the defence and rounded Wilson before slotting into the empty net.
The tie headed for penalties with Jamie Bain converting the opening spot kick, before Lenny Wilson made a fine save to deny Josh O’Connor to give City the advantage.
Euan Loudon doubled City’s lead before Robbie Hamilton blasted over for the hosts. Iain Davidson converted number 3 for City and despite Ethan Laidlaw converting for Hibs, substitute Kieran Inglis stepped up to send City through the next round where they will face Stirling Albion at Glebe Park.
Attention now turns back to the bread and butter of league action as we make the trip north to face Deveronvale in Banff on Saturday.