Banks O' Dee
Match Report - By Steven Mew
A perfectly executed free kick from Ryan Ferguson gave City a dramatic late win against Banks O’ Dee in difficult weather conditions yesterday evening.
As Storm Agnes descended on Spain Park, the wind and rain made it difficult for both sets of players but it was City who dug deep to earn a crucial 3 points in Aberdeen.
Following a fine performance in the Scottish Cup against Rothes on Saturday, it came as no surprise that Andy Kirk opted to stick with the same starting 11 for this fixture.
With the wind behind them in the first half, City very nearly opened the scoring in the opening minute when McHattie’s cross cannoned off the far post.
On 5 minutes a delightful flighted pass forward from MacLeod sent McGrath in on goal but as the in-form striker looked to take the ball round the keeper, his touch was too heavy and the ball went out for a goal kick.
City kept pressing for that early opener and McGrath stung the hands of Shearer in the home goal with a 20 yard strike.
On the quarter hour mark, Scott was fouled 20 yards out and the resulting free-kick from McHattie was curled round the wall but the keeper managed to tip the ball round the post.
On the half hour, Moreland headed straight at the keeper from a deflected cross but a major talking point arrived shortly after. McGrath had a strike pushed up in the air by Shearer and as he looked to gather the loose ball, he bundled MacLeod over inside the area. Despite strong appeals from everyone of a City persuasion, referee Dan McFarlane wasn’t interested in the protestations.
Towards the end of the first half, Scott hit the side netting from a difficult angle whilst on the stroke of half time, McGrath won the ball in midfield and glided past a couple of players before being taken down on the edge of the box. The in-form striker took the set piece himself, but his effort was wayward.
The wind perhaps died down every so slightly in the second period but it was still difficult for either side to produce the quality of football that they are capable of.
Shortly after the hour mark, a long ball forward was chased down by Lachie MacLeod who managed to get the better of Spark but Wilson was off his line quickly to avert the danger.
Manager Andy Kirk made his first change after 65 minutes when Liam Duell replaced McGrath upfront. Duell certainly looked lively and used his pace to get in behind the home defence as City continued to search for that elusive goal.
With next to no opportunities of note for either side in the last 20 minutes, it looked as if City would have to settle for a share of the spoils, however they were given an unexpected opportunity as the game approached 90 minutes when Shearer inexplicably picked up a back-pass from Davidson on the edge of his box.
From the in-direct free kick, Patrick teed up RYAN FERGUSON who showed outstanding composure to curl the ball round the wall and into the corner of the net to send the travelling support into raptures.
The home side pushed forward for the leveller deep into added time, but the City defence held firm to record their fifth consecutive clean sheet.
The result saw City move level on points with Formartine United at the top with a game in hand. Next up is the semi-final of the Highland League Cup on Saturday as City host Fraserburgh at the Carnegie Fuels Stadium at Glebe Park.
Other Results - Breedon Highland League
Keith 2 Fraserburgh 2