Manager Ray McKinnon handed competitive debuts to new signings Jamie McCormack and Callum Tapping who lined up at right-back and central midfield, respectively, while close-season signings Colin Hamilton and Darren McCormack came into defence.
The hosts grabbed the opener in their first real attack of the match after 13 minutes when Sean Higgins collected the ball at the left side of the City box and showed great skill and composure before tucking a low shot into the far bottom corner of the net and Jon Robertson tried a shot from the edge of the box just three minutes later but it was well wide of the target.
City had a half-chance after 33 minutes when Gary Fusco tried a shot from around 25 yards out but it was unfortunately well wide. The visitors had a better opportunity five minutes later when a great Jamie McCormack cross from the right found Jackson in perfect position but he steered his header just wide of Robbie Thomson’s left-hand post and a Colin Hamilton cross from the left was just missed by McCormack with three minutes of the half remaining.
City came out for the second-half in a determined frame of mind and within three minutes, Bobby Barr found himself in space on the left and he delivered a good low cross into the Cowden box, but there were unfortunately no takers.
Craig Molloy tried a shot five minutes later after collecting a short pass from Hamilton but Thomson saved easily. However, City made the vital breakthrough in the 64th minute with a great goal from Robert Thomson.
Andy Jackson played a great pass down the left to Thomson who had come on for Gary Fusco just seconds earlier and he kept his cool to sweep home the leveller.