There’s little as enjoyable in a game of football than a stoppage time winner.
City fans got to experience that at Forres on Saturday’s when Kevin McHattie’s stoppage time volley saw Andy Kirk’s side return to Angus with all three points.
It was a win which kept City’s promotion push alive and their second on the bounce away from Glebe Park.
City put on a late, late show as Kevin McHattie’s stoppage time volley earned a crucial 3 points against Forres Mechanics at Mosset Park yesterday afternoon.
They say you have to win ugly sometimes and that was certainly the case yesterday as City largely toiled against a battling Forres side in tough conditions.
With on-loan defender Nathan Cooney out injured and Max Kucheriavyi recalled by parent club St Johnstone, Manager Andy Kirk was forced into the couple of changes to his starting 11 with skipper Iain Davidson and Cammie Ross coming into the side.
In the driving wind and rain, both sides struggled on a heavy surface early on. Ewan Loudon, who went into the game off the back of an impressive 2-goal performance against Brora last week was first to threaten on 8 minutes. A low cross into the box from Cammie Ross was on cleared as far as Loudon who was denied by the keeper at point blank range.
Five minutes later, a cross into the box from deep fell kindly for Garry Wood 10 yards out but he could only fire his volley straight at Herbert in the Forres goal.
The game went without further incident until the 26th minute when Cruickshank volleyed over the bar following a Bain cross and shortly after, McHattie fired a ball in for Loudon who could only guide his effort wide of the post.
Just after the half hour mark City came within millimetres of opening the scoring. Cammie Ross did well down the left hand side before delivering an inviting cross into the box which was met by Mackintosh at the back post, but his header was cleared off the line.
Five minutes before the break Cammie Ross had a shot deflected for a corner and as the first half drew to a close, Bain, Mackintosh and Cruickshank all had shots over from range as City chased that elusive opening goal.
Three minutes into the second period, Garry Wood controlled a low cross into the box from Bain but his shot lacked conviction and was easily gathered by the keeper.
Attacks from the home side were few and far between but they came close on 51 minutes when a strike from Paul Brindle just curled wide of the far post.
Shortly before the hour mark, McHattie shot wide following a Cruickshank corner and five minutes later, Thomson headed just past the post from another Cruickshank delivery.
Almost immediately up at the other end, Paul Brindle took advantage of some slack defending to get a run in on goal but he blazed over from a right angle.
Several minutes later, another mix up in the City back line gave the Can-Cans another opportunity but Wills came to City’s rescue with a fine save with his feet to deny Lee Fraser.
With nine minutes remaining, Kieran Inglis exhanged passes with fellow substitute David Cox before seeing his shot deflected wide. From the resulting corner, Davidson’s shot was diverted goalwards by Inglis but Herbert was equal to it.
Time was beginning to run out for City with Bain coming close with a well struck free kick which the Forres keeper got down well to push round the post.
Just as it looked like City were set to drop points, they grabbed a dramatic winner as they game entered stoppage time. A cross into the box was cleared only as far as KEVIN MCHATTIE who showed tremendous technique to strike a volley which dipped in via the underside of the bar to spark wild celebrations amongst players and supporters.
It was far from a vintage performance from City, but credit must go to the players for digging deep and ultimately earning what could prove to be a vital three points. Andy Kirk’s side are on the road again next Saturday as we face a huge fixture against Buckie Thistle at Victoria Park.