With current League Two leaders Cove Rangers slipping up at Stenhousemuir, the Citizens spurned the chance to move level on points with Paul Hartley’s men – David Cox scoring the only goal of the game a minute before the half-time interval at Central Park.
The visitors’ Craig Thomson was also shown a straight red card for a late tackle in first-half added on time.
A second loss of the campaign sees City slip to third, with opponents Cowdenbeath now just a point adrift of Cove.
“We moved the ball around well with 11 men in the first half and missed a couple of chances to take the lead,” McDonaugh said. “We didn’t deal with the throw-in to the box for their goal, the players were saying it was offside but I wasn’t sure. We need to defend it better. We lost control with Craig being sent off so it changes the game.
“Craig’s maybe made a challenge that he didn’t have to make, at a time he didn’t have to and at a place on the pitch he didn’t have to so hopefully he’ll learn from that. But I thought we controlled the game in the second half without maybe creating enough at the top end of the pitch.”
McDonaugh continued: “We’ve got loads to look forward to. We’ve taken 19 points from this quarter. We want it to be more but it’s a good return. Cove lost so there’s nothing really in it at the top of the league.
“We’ve still got a few players to come back so hopefully Blair (Henderson) will start training again this week, Kieran Stewart is getting game time for the 20s and Allan Smith might be another week or two.”
The Capital outfit’s next fixture sees them welcome Banks O’Dee to Ainslie Park in William Hill Scottish Cup second-round action in 12 days time.