City started this game against East Stirlingshire with a more familiar look to the starting line-up. Matty Cooper came in for Sam Dryden and Darryl McHardy returned from suspension to replace club captain Jamie Duff. I think East Stirling won the toss and elected to play towards the Cooper Park end.
Mark Hurst was called into action in the early stages to prevent East Stirlingshire taking an early lead. Gunny was first to show for City when he attempted a long range shot, but his effort drifted well wide of the East Stirling goal.
Dylan Easton was next to show for City, but his attempt on goal was over by the keeper. But East Stirling were not wholly defensive and their front two of McKenna and Orr were worrying the City defence, and an Orr effort went just past Hurst’s left hand post. Shortly after a good passing movement from the City midfield/strikers saw Dylan Easton’s parting shot go into the side net. Brian Cameron was next to have a go for City, but his effort was wide of goal. That took us to half-time in a half where neither team had produced much in the way of quality football. We could only hope for better in the second half.
City started the second half on the front foot and 5 mins into the half Brian Cameron and Thomas Reilly exchanged passes and from about 22 yards Brian unleashed a shot which hit the underside of the East Stirling crossbar and rebounded back into play. Had it gone in, it would surely have been a candidate for goal of the season. Matty Cooper was next to show with a mazy run down City’s right. He beat 3 players but his final effort on goal was straight at the goalkeeper. It wasn’t all one way traffic though and McMullin of the Shire came close with a header.
City were awarded a free kick for a foul and when the ball was floated into the Shire penalty box, a Shire defender took Gunny out of the game with an illegal challenge. A penalty it was and after much tooing and froing between the referee and some Shire players, Gunny stepped up and made his usual immaculate job of converting it to put the City 1-0 up.
Shire however, were not lying down and continued to take the game to City and Mark Hurst was again called into action saving at Orr’s feet when clean through. City were again flying distress signals when a through ball found 2 Shire attackers in the box, but they dithered and the chance was lost. Steven Ross was introduced at this point replacing Dylan Easton. City tied up the 3 points with about 5 mins left when Brian Cameron and Thomas Reilly exchanged passes and Brian thundered a shot past the Shire goalkeeper from about 20 yards. I think the whole crowd issued a huge collective sigh of relief.
Report by George Hay