Match Report - By Steven Mew
A thoroughly impressive first half showing from City laid the foundations for a comfortable win over Lossiemouth at Grant Park yesterday evening.
Despite being unable to add more goals to their tally in the second period, City simply proved too hot to handle for the Coasters in the opening 45.
Ewan Loudon and Marc Scott both notched either side of a first City goal for Danny Handling which ensured City kept hold of top spot in the Highland League.
Gavin Price made 2 changes to the side that defeated Rothes last time out – Jamie Richardson made his first start while new loan signing Luke Strachan also came straight into the starting 11. Hamish Thomson dropped out of the squad through injury whilst top-scorer Grady McGrath started on the substitutes bench. Ewan White also returned to the squad, with his short-term loan at East Craigie having come to an end.
On a chilly evening in Moray, the first chance of the game fell for Danny Handling who fired over the bar from Fraser MacLeod’s low corner into the box. Handling would threaten again four minutes later when he headed over from Marc Scott’s cross.
City continued to have much of the play and deservedly took the lead after 18 minutes. Luke Strachan’s low strike was diverted away from the keeper by EWAN LOUDON for his 5th goal in as many games.
On 21 minutes Danny Handling tried his luck with a quickly taken free kick which looked destined for the far corner but Farquhar did well to parry away.
Two minutes later however, DANNY HANDLING was not to be denied as he netted his first City goal to double the advantage. Marc Scott played a pass to the former Edinburgh City man inside the box and he managed to evade a couple of challenges before firing a crisp finish into the bottom corner.
The visitors were playing some excellent football and it could have easily been 3 just a couple of minutes later. A fine passing move resulted in Ewan Loudon teeing the ball up for Ryan Ferguson on the edge of the box but he could only drag his shot wide.
Lewis Martin was having another fine game down the right hand side – he did well to get a low cross into Handling who controlled and sidestepped his man but couldn’t keep his shot down.
Eight minutes before the break, City made it 3-0 with another well-worked move. A searching long ball from McHattie found MARC SCOTT who chested down and played a neat one-two with MacLeod before firing high into the net from 8 yards.
On the stroke of half time, a looping cross from Lewis Martin was flicked on by Ewan Loudon into the path of Jamie Richardson who fired inches wide of the target.
City made a change at the break with Luke Strachan, making his first competitive appearance of the season following ankle surgery, making way for Nathan Cooney.
City continued to dominate proceedings early in the second half. Five minutes in, Marc Scott made a darting run down the right hand side of the box but his effort was deflected into the side netting.
Ewan Loudon headed over from a Marc Scott cross and shortly after, Loudon did well to get to the by-line and set up Jamie Richardson in the box but his effort just went wide.
Richardson was looking lively and shortly after the hour mark, he took a through ball from Scott in his stride before stinging the hands of Farquhar in the Lossiemouth goal.
On 63 minutes, Gavin Price freshened his side up with the introduction of Murray Mackintosh and top scorer Grady McGrath for Kevin McHattie and Jamie Richardson respectively.
With quarter of an hour remaining, Farquhar did well to get his fingertips to a rasping strike from Loudon inside the box and six minutes later, Loudon should have finished a low cross from McGrath but fluffed his lines just yards from goal.
City did take their foot off the pedal somewhat in the closing stages and the home side did start to apply some pressure in search of a consolation. A high ball into the box wasn’t properly dealt with by the City rearguard and substitute Connor MacAulay was unlucky to see his powerful strike deflected for a corner.
Although City will be relatively disappointed not to have added further to their tally following an impressive first half, overall it was an extremely satisfying evenings work.
City are back on the road again on Saturday as we travel to face bottom side Strathspey Thistle at Seafield Park.
Other Results - Breedon Highland League
Keith 1 Banks O' Dee 3
Rothes 2 Formartine United 2