Darren Dods watched his Brechin side lose to a single goal for the eighth time this season – but insisted they won’t be Championship whipping boys for much longer.
City seemed set to clinch a point at home to high-flying St Mirren on Saturday after Isaac Layne cancelled out a Gavin Reilly strike to draw them level.
But a hotly-disputed penalty from former Dundee United striker Cammy Smith – who had fallen under the challenge of Glebe Park keeper Graeme Smith for the award – saw all three points going back to Paisley.
It was a cruel afternoon for Brechin, who are six points adrift from second bottom Falkirk, having failed to win in the league since beating Albion Rovers in April.
“We have given quite a few teams problems but can’t seem to get the goal or the win that our play deserves,” said boss Dods.
“But it will come, especially if we keep setting standards like we did against St Mirren. We are getting better all the time and I’m sure the win will follow.
“That’s the most chances we have created in a game all season and aside from the one mistake we were punished for we kept St Mirren quiet.
“Even after we lost the penalty we didn’t let our heads go down. We battled on and hit the post in the final minute. On another day that would have gone in but my part-time players deserve so much credit for the effort they are putting in right now.”
City looked set for a heavy defeat after Reilly raced onto a Stephen McGinn through ball to put the ball beyond Smith and make it 1-0.
But Layne showed similar composure in front of goal as he curled beyond Craig Samson to draw his side level at the break.
Saints then restored their lead in controversial fashion as striker Smith went for a tumble in the box under the challenge of namesake City keeper Graeme Smith.
The resultant spot-kick was easily converted by Cammy Smith and Saints remain hot on the heels of leaders Dundee United in second spot.
Perhaps just as importantly, they have held on to manager Jack Ross after he was heavily linked as a potential replacement for Derek McInnes at Aberdeen – prior to his snub to Rangers.
Smith, who enjoyed six months on loan at Tannadice last season, said: “There were a lot of ifs and buts with regards to Derek McInnes leaving Aberdeen to go to Rangers.
“Our manager’s name is always going to pop up on a wanted list with clubs in Scotland because of the job he has done at St Mirren.
“But we know he likes his squad and enjoys coming into work every day and because of that, we’re confident that he will want to stay here.”