Match Report - By Steven Mew
City’s long journey north to Caithness proved to a fruitful one as a brace from captain Jamie Bain, his first goals for the club, helped Andy Kirk’s men to victory over Wick Academy yesterday afternoon.
With a heavy surface, strong wind and occasional driving rain – it was far from ideal conditions for a game of football and City had to show their battling qualities against a physical Wick outfit.
There was just the one change to the side that defeated Strathspey Thistle last weekend, with Kevin McHattie returning to the side for Anthony McDonald who dropped to the bench.
City had the ball in the net within the opening 5 minutes – Northcott nipped in ahead of a defender to prod the ball through for McGrath who rounded the keeper to score, however the linesman had his flag up for offside.
McGrath was looking lively and barely a minute later he was played through on goal by Biabi but he was denied by a last ditch tackle by Henry. McGrath felt he had been fouled, however referee Gordon Seago was not interested in his protestations.
On 19 minutes, JAMIE BAIN struck a shot into the side netting but he was not to be denied three minutes later as he bagged his first ever City goal. MacLeod did well down the left hand side to provide a low cross into the box and Bain lashed an unstoppable left footed drive beyond the keeper to open the scoring.
Shortly before the half hour mark, a pass from Inglis set Scott free down the right hand side of the box and his low cross flashed across the face of goal, evading both Biabi and Northcott.
As the first half drew to a close, McGrath almost took advantage of a defensive lapse but his effort finished wide of the near post.
With the wind behind their backs, the home side started the second half brightly. Gordon MacNab made a rampaging run right through the heart of the City defence but Wilson did well to get down to push away his effort.
Two minutes later, the lively Marc MacGregor also threatened for Wick when he fired wide at the near post, but the Scorries hopes of a route back into the game were severely dented on 50 minutes when Joe Anderson was given his marching orders for a second booking.
Despite the numerical advantage, Wick continued to battle away and Richard Macadie was next to threaten when he dragged a shot wide from the edge of the area.
Mid-way through the half, City stepped it up again with a Northcott volley deflected wide for a corner and shortly after, McHattie struck wide from range.
With 71 minutes on the clock, City grabbed the all-important second goal in scrappy fashion. Koutsimouka had a shot pushed out by Williamson and the rebound effort from Loudon was flicked goalwards by JORDAN NORTHCOTT, with the ball crossing the line despite the best efforts of a Wick defender to keep it out.
Two minutes later things went from bad to worse for the Scorries as they were reduced to 9 men. Following a challenge, Jack Henry appeared to plant his foot on Koutsimouka's leg as he lay on the ground and was also involved in an incident with Northcott during the resultant melee. The referee had little hesitation in showing Henry the red card.
After 78 minutes Calum Ferguson, who signed a short-term deal with the club earlier this week, came on for his debut as he replaced Grady McGrath upfront.
Eight minutes from time, City were awarded a penalty when Northcott went down under a challenge in the box. With regular penalty-taker McGrath substituted earlier, JAMIE BAIN stepped up and confidently stroked the spot kick into the corner.
With a two-man advantage, City pushed forward in the closing stages to try and add to their tally and in particular Bain who was looking for an unlikely hat-trick. Bain had a 20-yard shot which went straight into the keepers arms and shortly after, a shot from Inglis was deflected into the path of Loudon who just couldn’t quite connect.
Koutsimouka, who was enjoying a more advanced role down the left hand side late on, came close in stoppage time when he connected with Ferguson’s cutback but the ball rolled agonisingly past the post.
There was still time for ‘Baino’ to have another pop for his hat-trick and only the bar denied his deflected effort with almost the last kick of the game.
A comfortable win in the end for City, but they were certainly made to fight for the win for the majority of the afternoon. City are back on the road again next weekend as we make the trip to face Nairn County at Station Park.
Other Results - Breedon Highland League
Banks O' Dee 2 Rothes 0
Buckie Thistle 4 Brora Rangers 2
Clachnacuddin 2 Forres Mechanics 0
Fraserburgh 3 Huntly 0
Keith 1 Deveronvale 1
Lossiemouth 1 Inverurie Locos 0
Strathspey Thistle 1 Nairn County 1
Turriff United 2 Formartine United 4