Our first competitive match of the season saw us travel to the Simple Digital Arena to take on Premiership St Mirren in the BetFred Cup group stage.
On a fantastic playing surface City shuffled the pack with manager James McDonaugh changing tactics to three at the back, with Robbie McIntyre drafted in on the right hand side of the three, with Conrad Balantoni and Liam Henderson along side him. Tactically this made City tough to break down and during the first half Saints found clear opportunites few and far between, with some dangerous cross balls about the sum total of their efforts. City were comfortable soaking up pressure and in fact fashioned arguably the best two opening of the first half when first Josh Walker was through and tried to chip the keeper and then Scott Shepherd almost got through on goal.
St Mirren stepped up their intensity in the second half however and had the lion’s share of territory and possession, but once again City’s compact shape made it tough for the Buddies to break through. They did have the ball in the net midway through the half but the forward was adjudged offside. Calum Antell was called into action to save well from a Flynn volley and then from a deflected shot inside the box, but otherwise City held firm. On a rare breakaway, substitute Allan Smith brilliantly killed a long pass from Craig Thomson stone dead but sent a good shot just wide.
Sadly the Premiership side’s pressure paid off in the 88th minute when Craig Thomson tangled with Paul McGinn inside the box and the referee awarded a penalty, which was despatched by Saints’ Oan Djorkaeff to win it at the death.
Over the piece a positive performance, with great endeavor from all involved and superb tactical reshuffle from the manager gives us lots of good things to take away from the game, heading to the Dunfermline match on Saturday at Ainslie Park.