Match Report - By Steven Mew
City made it nine consecutive league wins and in doing so moved to the summit of the Highland League following a three-goal victory over Turriff United yesterday afternoon.
With only City, Formartine United and Buckie Thistle registering more wins than Turriff United prior to kick off, the home side represented more than just a banana skin but it was a game that was negotiated supremely well by City.
In what came as little surprise, Interim Manager Stephen Simmons opted to go with the same starting 11 and substitutes that produced a fine attacking performance to put 6 past Clachnacuddin last weekend.
Grady McGrath, fresh off the back of scoring a hat-trick last weekend looked in the mood to add to his already-impressive tally for the season. In the opening seconds, he had a shot blocked before forcing a corner.
It took City just 7 minutes to get their noses in front. A long searching ball upfield from Lewis Martin found FRASER MACLEOD who steadied himself before producing an inch perfect lob over the advancing keeper and into the net.
There was a scare for City on ten minutes when a Turriff corner caused a scamble in the box but City were able to clear their lines and attack straight away, with MacLeod feeding the ball into Loudon who saw his shot deflected straight into the arms of David Dey.
The home side managed to create some openings, and midway through the half Jack McKenzie advanced with the ball from midfield but his strike flew well over the bar.
On 26 minutes, City managed to put clear daylight between the sides with a second goal. Seth Patrick pounced on a defensive error and set GRADY MCGRATH free on the right hand side of the box – the striker came inside on his left foot and found the bottom corner with the aid of a deflection.
Ten minutes before the break, a marauding run from Lewis Martin saw him exchange passes with Loudon on the edge of the box but his strike was straight at Dey in the Turriff goal.
A couple of minutes later at the other end, a poor passback from Thomson put Lenny Wilson in a spot of bother as his touch took him outside the left hand side of the box, committing a foul in the process. Fortunately for City, Wilson did well to punch clear the resulting set piece.
The visitors started the second half brightly with a cut-back from Marc Scott almost turned in for an own goal at the near post whilst Ewan Loudon was next to threaten as he sliced wide from Euan Murray’s delivery.
Seven minutes after the restart the game was more or less over as a contest as City stretched their lead to 3. Loudon was denied by a fine save by the keeper, however the ball rebounded to Fraser MacLeod who dinked an excellent cross to the back post for GRADY MCGRATH who fired a volley back across into the far corner of the net for his 7th goal in just 3 games.
Just minutes after the goal, Marc Scott had a shot blocked and from the rebound, the Turriff keeper did well to save at the feet of Ewan Murray who had a fine game down the left hand side.
Midway through the half, Hamish Thomson was dispossessed down the left flank and substitute Connor Grant struck a shot over from range.
The game petered out somewhat in the closing stages, with City looking comfortable. McGrath was unlucky to be denied his hat-trick by a last ditch block inside the box whilst Murray couldn’t sort his feet out to get a shot away from the rebound.
City’s last real opportunity came with just under quarter of an hour remaining as Fraser MacLeod struck a dipping volley over the crossbar from the edge of the box.
Overall, a great result for City and a clean sheet to boot as we move to the top of the Highland League for the first time this season. We’re in midweek action on Wednesday as we welcome Keith to the Carnegie Fuels Stadium at Glebe Park (8pm kick off).
Other Results - Breedon Highland League
Banks O' Dee 2 Formartine United 1
Brora Rangers 3 Huntly 0
Buckie Thistle 5 Wick Academy 2
Clachnacuddin 4 Strathspey Thistle 4
Deveronvale 3 Lossiemouth 1
Keith 1 Inverurie Locos 2
Rothes 0 Fraserburgh 3