Match Report - By Steven Mew
City continued their winning start to the season as they cruised to a 5-goal victory over Strathspey Thistle at Seafield Park yesterday afternoon.
With Jamie Bain out injured, Seth Patrick missing through suspension and Hamish Thomson only fit enough for the bench, Manager Andy Kirk was forced into a few changes against the league’s bottom side.
In came Euan Spark and Nathan Cooney whilst there was a first competitive start for Michael McArthur whose registration was completed just hours prior to the game.
At a breezy Seafield Park, the hosts were the first to threaten when a shot from range by Allan Kerr was comfortably gathered by Wilson in the City goal.
Manager Andy Kirk was keen for a quick start from his side and that is exactly what he got as KEVIN MCHATTIE opened the scoring after just 6 minutes. The ball fell kindly for the stand-in skipper 20 yards from goal and he let fly with an unstoppable strike which flew into the bottom corner.
McDonald came close twice for City, before McGrath’s shot from an angle was deflected up and onto the top of the bar.
On 17 minutes, Inglis latched onto a long ball from Spark but he was unable to keep his effort down whilst at the other end, Liam Taylor headed over from a left sided cross.
Four minutes later McDonald threaded a ball through for Scott but home custodian Michael MacCallum was off his line quickly to deny him. The ball fell only as far as Northcott who dinked the ball back in the penalty area but McGrath was unable to direct his header goalwards.
On the half hour mark, both McGrath and MacLeod had efforts blocked and shortly after, McDonald skipped past a couple of challenges before shooting over.
City got the second goal that they craved on 31 minutes after the referee awarded a penalty for a foul on Northcott in the area. KIERAN INGLIS stepped up and confidently fired high straight down the middle.
On the stroke of half time, Inglis could have easily had a second when he turned a defender inside the box before producing a fine one-handed save from McCallum.
Andy Kirk has spoken about putting games to bed by half time and if it wasn’t done at the break yesterday, it certainly was a couple of minutes after the restart. A searching ball forward for Scott saw the home keeper clatter into the City attacker on the edge of the box, resulting in a penalty being awarded.
In a similar fashion to the first penalty, KIERAN INGLIS again chose to smash his spot kick high into the net to make it 3-0.
Inglis wasn’t far away from completing his hat-trick seven minutes later when his low drive from the left hand side of the box flashed past the far post.
On the hour mark, Euan Spark rampaged forward with the ball before feeding McDonald who scraped a shot wide and shortly after, McHattie showed terrific skill to leave two defenders in his wake but his low cross was flicked into the side netting by McGrath.
The pressure continued with Spark heading a corner from McDonald wide at the near post, before the 4th goal arrived in the 67th miniute courtesy of substitute EWAN LOUDON. The young striker took a through ball from McDonald in his stride before slotting in at the near post.
Seven minutes from time, City rounded off the scoring following a terrific one-touch passing move on the edge of the box which culminated in GRADY MCGRATH slamming low into the net for his 4th of the season.
Fraser MacLeod almost got in on the act when a cutback from McGrath found him lurking on the edge of the area but his volley flew just wide.
Overall, another convincing win for City who maintained their 3 point lead at the top of the Highland League ahead of a home fixture against Wick Academy next weekend.
Other Results - Breedon Highland League
Brora Rangers 5 Deveronvale 0
Buckie Thistle 2 Huntly 0
Clachnacuddin 4 Rothes 1
Fraserburgh 1 Inverurie Locos 2
Keith 1 Formartine United 0
Lossiemouth 5 Nairn County 1
Turriff United 2 Forres Mechanics 0
Wick Academy 0 Banks O' Dee 8