Match Report - By Steven Mew
City made it six wins on the bounce as second half goals from Jamie Richardson and Danny Handling earned all 3 points against Lossiemouth yesterday afternoon.
The game was far more comfortable than the scoreline would suggest, with home custodian Jamie McCabe only being called into action once as the visitors appeared content to defend in considerable numbers throughout.
The result kept City 4 points clear at the Highland League summit and left Lossiemouth still awaiting their first goal against City after 7 attempts.
Gavin Price stuck with the same side that defeated Strathspey Thistle 6-1 last time out, with new loan signing Matthew Wright taking a place on the bench.
City were first to threaten after just 3 minutes when Danny Handling played a short free kick to Fraser MacLeod on the edge of the box but his sidefooted shot was straight at the keeper.
Just two minutes later MacLeod showed some brilliant skill down the right hand side to get past two defenders and his low cross into the box was just diverted wide at the near post by Ewan Loudon.
On 21 minutes, a left footed in-swinging cross from Marc Scott was missed by everyone and the ball went inches past the far post.
Barely a minute later, City supporters were left scratching their heads as to how they hadn’t gone ahead. Richardson sent Loudon scampering down the left side of the box and he squared the ball across for Handling who had the easy task of tapping home from a couple of yards out, however he was unable to sort his feet and the ball was eventually gathered by the grateful Farquhar.
City continued to pepper the visitors goal as a 20 yard free kick from Handling flashed just wide, whilst Loudon again set up Handling with a clever backheel inside the box but his shot was deflected wide. From the resulting corner, Handling headed wide from Macleod’s delivery.
Just before the half hour mark, Ryan Ferguson volleyed over and Handling again came close on 33 minutes when the ball dropped kindly in the box for him but he couldn’t keep his volley down from close range.
Ten minutes before the break, a floated delivery from Marc Scott caused all kinds of havoc inside the box as Handling nodded goalwards, before the ball was scambled away for a corner with Loudon waiting to pounce.
Despite City’s dominance, the sides somehow went in level at the break but it didn’t take City long in the second half to make the breakthrough that they craved.
Just 40 seconds after the restart, City engineered some space inside the box with a fine passing move which saw Fraser MacLeod drill a low ball across the face of goal for JAMIE RICHARDSON to slot home from close range.
Marc Scott had a shot deflected over the bar before DANNY HANDLING doubled the advantage in spectacular style on the hour mark. An attempted ball over the top by MacLeod was headed clear by the defence but only as far as Handling who let fly with a delightful first time volley which arrowed into the bottom corner.
City continued to push for more goals with on-loan attacker Jamie Richardson particularly impressive as he tormented the visitors defence. Midway through the half, a looping cross from MacLeod was misjudged by the keeper and substitute Hamish Thomson saw his header trickle wide.
In the 71st minute Matthew Wright, making his debut as a sub, had a shot blocked only as far as Fraser Macleod who let fly with a rasping drive from the edge of the box which whizzed inches wide of the post.
Ten minutes from time, City keeper Jamie McCabe was called into action when he had to tip a long range strike from substitute Connor MacAuley away from goal.
As the game entered stoppage time, Grady McGrath didn’t quite have his shooting boots on as he fired well over the bar from the edge of the box.
Overall it was another comfortable win for City and a welcome clean sheet to boot. Next up is a tricky trip to face a resurgent Inverurie Locos side at Harlaw Park next weekend.
Other Results - Breedon Highland League
Banks O' Dee 2 Keith 0
Clachnacuddin 2 Huntly 4
Deveronvale 0 Brora Rangers 3
Fraserburgh 2 Forres Mechanics 1
Nairn County 3 Buckie Thistle 0
Rothes 1 Inverurie Locos 4
Turriff United 1 Formartine United 2
Wick Academy 3 Strathspey Thistle 2