Match Report - By Steven Mew
For the second time in the space of four days, City were pegged back from a two goal lead as they had to settle for a point at Huntly yesterday afternoon.
Two goals early in the second half looked to have City in complete control, but a Huntly side who caused City plenty of problems last season fought back to deny Andy Kirk’s men the win.
With Anthony McDonald, Lewis Martin, Marc Scott and Spencer Moreland out – City had just 14 outfield players available for the trip. Lenny Wilson returned between the sticks at the expense of Jamie McCabe whilst a trialist striker also came in with Michael Cruickshank dropping to the bench.
There was an early scare for City after just 4 minutes when Robbie Foster took the ball past the onrushing Wilson on the edge of the box but much to the relief of the City support, he could only strike the ball wide of the near post.
City had much of the ball and started to grow into the game. On 10 minutes MacLeod and McGrath linked up well inside the box with the latter firing a left-footed shot straight at the keeper.
Loudon was next to threaten for City a minute later when he almost took advantage of a charged down clearance but his strike failed to fully test Hobday. Shortly after, Loudon then shot wide following a surging run from MacLeod into the box.
Huntly were still a threat on the counter attack, and Foster again would threaten for the home side when he broke clear of the defence but his shot barely troubled Wilson who gathered at the second attempt.
On 21 minutes, Loudon stung the palms of Hobday with a low shot from the edge of the box whilst McHattie and MacLeod also tested the home custodian from a similar range.
Ten minutes before the break, a slack pass from Patrick under pressure gifted possession to Huntly, with Ross Still unlucky to see his strike slither wide of the post.
At the other end City continued to probe the home defence. MacLeod was driving City forward and one of his runs resulted in McGrath firing over the bar on his weaker left foot.
Two minutes before the break, MacLeod was scythed down by Still on the edge of the box but the resulting free kick from McHattie was tame and straight at Hobday.
Four minutes into the second half, City broke the deadlock. MacLeod set McGrath free down the left hand side of the box and his low ball into the box was pushed out only as far as the TRIALIST who was in the right place at the right time to slam home from close range.
Things would get even better for City just 6 minutes later as the advantage was doubled. Ewan Loudon’s corner swung into the area landed into a ruck of bodies and appeared to come off the unfortunate ROSS STILL and into the net.
Midway through the second half, the hosts gave themselves some hope as they pulled a goal back. A cross from the right hand side was headed out to former Aberdeen youngster MICHAEL DANGANA who produced a fine curling effort into the corner, giving Wilson no chance.
Immediately following the goal, Michael Cruickshank replaced Seth Patrick in what was City’s only change of the game.
Just a minute after the restart, substitute Lewis Crosbie was sent scampering down the right hand side and his cross was diverted goalwards by Thomson but Wilson was there to gather.
The goal gave Huntly confidence and they were given the opportunity to level nine minutes later when they were awarded a penalty after Wilson was adjudged to have brought down BRODIE ALLEN inside the area following an arguable offside call at the other end. After a slight delay due to encroaching in the penalty area, Allen dispatched his penalty straight down the middle to level the scoreline.
City pushed forward in search of a late winner, but the best they could muster was a McArthur strike that flew well over the bar a minute from time.
Given the battles City had with Huntly last season, they were certainly under no illusions as to the task they had however they will be bitterly disappointed not to have come away with all 3 points after being two goals ahead.
For the first time so far this season, City now have a full week to recover ahead of the visit of Brora Rangers next weekend.
Other Results - Breedon Highland League
Banks O' Dee 3 Nairn County 0
Buckie Thistle 4 Turriff United 0
Formartine United 4 Strathspey Thistle 0
Inverurie Locos 0 Fraserburgh 7
Keith 1 Clachnacuddin 1
Lossiemouth 0 Forres Mechanics 3
Rothes 0 Brora Rangers 1
Wick Academy 2 Deveronvale 2