Match Report - By Steven Mew
City moved up to the 2nd in the Highland League table after cruising to a 4-0 victory over Deveronvale at Princess Royal Park yesterday afternoon.
Andy Kirks’ side had been out of league action for a month and they picked up where they left off, with the unbeaten start coming under little danger against the Vale.
Kirk opted to go with Jamie McCabe in goal, with Liam Duell also coming in as he made two changes from the side that lost narrowly to Spartans in the Scottish Cup last weekend. Lenny Wilson and Spencer Moreland dropped to the bench.
The visitors got off to the ideal start as they took the lead in fortuitous circumstances with just 6 minutes on the clock. Grady McGrath’s corner was headed up into the air and as keeper Sean McIntosh looked to punch clear, he couldn’t get the desired connection and the ball bobbled off the unfortunate JAYDEN GOLDIE and into the net.
Just after the quarter hour mark, McIntosh kept out a low shot from McGrath and the Deveronvale stopper was alert to keep out the rebound from Ewan Murray.
Ryan Ferguson was next to test the home custodian with a shot from the edge of the box but it was straight at the keeper and a minute later, Spark knocked wide from McGrath’s corner.
On 32 minutes, a splendid goal from GRADY MCGRATH doubled City’s advantage. Ewan Murray played a long pass down the left side for McGrath who cut inside and curled a delightful strike into the far corner from 20 yards, giving the keeper absolutely no chance.
A few minutes before the break, Macleod showed some great skill down the right side of the box to drift past two players before cutting the ball back for Murray who saw his shot blocked by the feet of McIntosh.
City continued to look for another goal before the break as MacLeod had a shot deflected into the arms of the keeper, before McGrath hit the side netting with another deflected effort. From the resulting corner which was taken short, some neat passing into the box resulted in Scott being denied by a save at the near post.
Two minutes into the second half, Spark fired a shot over from McGrath’s low corner whilst at the other end, the home side had their first real effort on goal as a right sided cross was headed straight at McCabe by Innes Mackay.
A minute later, the influential Macleod made a lung-busting run through the heart of midfield before his stinging 20-yard strike was tipped wide by McIntosh.
In the 57th minute, City extended their advantage through skipper EUAN SPARK. A in-swinging corner from McGrath evaded several inside the box but Spark was on hand to knock the ball home from a few yards out.
Ewan Loudon, who replaced Ryan Ferguson just after the hour mark, came on and caused plenty of the problems for the home rear-guard. In the 76th minute, he cut inside from the left flank before firing a shot in at the near post, but the keeper got just enough to it to divert it wide.
Shortly after, McGrath fired a left footed shot high and wide from the edge of the box whilst Michael McArthur struck wide of the post following a cut-back from fellow substitute Michael Cruikshank.
With nine minutes remaining, GRADY MCGRATH rounded off the scoring with his second of the afternoon and his 18th of the season. A long ball upfield from Thomson found Loudon who nipped ahead of the defender and goalkeeper to lay the ball on a plate for McGrath to slot into the empty net.
City kept pushing and Loudon was unlucky to see his intricate flick at the near post deflected wide and from the resulting corner, Loudon headed over from McGrath’s delivery.
With just a few minutes left, it could have been five for City as Loudon’s strike was blocked off the line by a defender – as he looked to latch on to the rebound, he was brought down inside the box by the trailing leg of a defender but referee Filippo Mazzoni was not interested in the appeals.
Overall it was an extremely comfortable afternoon for City who could have won by an even bigger margin, with Manager Andy Kirk more than content with 4 goals and a clean sheet away from home. Next up for City a home league fixture against Clachnacuddin next Saturday (KO 3pm).
Other Results - Breedon Highland League
Banks O' Dee 2 Fraserburgh 0
Brora Rangers 3 Forres Mechanics 2
Clachnacuddin 0 Rothes 1
Huntly 0 Formartine United 1
Nairn County 2 Turriff United 1
Wick Academy 2 Inverurie Locos 1