A late disallowed goal by Craig Beattie wasn’t used to excuse Edinburgh City’s 1-0 defeat to Clyde at Meadowbank, but manager Gary Jardine certainly felt his players were entitled to feel aggrieved.
Sean Higgins’ second-half strike was enough for the Bully Wee to take maximum points from a tight encounter, leaving City rooted to the bottom of Ladbrokes League Two.
Beattie’s late header appeared to have been ruled out for a push, but like many in the old Commonwealth Stadium, Jardine didn’t see much wrong with it. “It’s one of those that if it’s in the middle of the park, play continues,” he said. “The referee’s seen something and we just have to get on with it, but I thought it was a cracking header.
“We’ve all watched football for long enough to know that when you have two teams playing each other, one at the bottom, one at the top, that these type of decisions go against the team at the bottom. We’re not going to use that as an excuse for getting beat – it was in our own hands. We’ve had opportunities to score and we’ve conceded a sloppy goal.
“It was much better than last week though. The second-half performance last week, I think we got for 90 minutes but a sloppy piece of play at the second phase of a set-play has cost us. If you took set-piece goals out of it I think we’d probably be in the top four or five.”
City started brightly, Ross Guthrie bursting into the box after showing good feet but his shot was blocked before Gordon Donaldson’s ambitious effort from distance sailed wide.
Marc Laird’s tenth minute free-kick looked for a second as though it could bounce straight in after evading everyone, but John Gibson’s reaction in goal for Clyde were sufficient to palm it away.
The hosts should have taken the lead just a minute later. John Dunn’s delivery was cleverly flicked on by Jordan Caddow, but the sliding Ouzy See just couldn’t connect properly to guide it in.
Andrew Stobie hadn’t had anything to do since Peter MacDonald’s shot straight from kick-off, and wasn’t required as Chris Smith’s snapshot following a corner flew over. The City keeper did have to look sharp when Higgins fired in a stinging low volley straight from See’s headed clearance, Stobie getting down quickly and parrying well. Higgins forced another save when he connected with Ewan McNeil’s cross after a strong run down the right.
A great stop from Gibson 15 minutes after the restart prevented City going ahead after Martin McNiff’s backwards header from a long Chris McKee throw almost looped in to the far corner.
The deadlock was finally broken on 70 minutes. Scott Linton’s corner wasn’t properly cleared and Higgins acrobatically hooked his shot past Stobie from a knockdown.
The controversy came with seven minutes remaining when Beattie powered home a header from Donaldson’s delivery. Referee Graham Beattie had other ideas however, disallowing it for a perceived push that most in the ground seemed to have missed.
Clyde boss Barry Ferguson said he’d have to see a replay before commenting, but the former Scotland captain did admit it was far from a vintage performance from his side. “It wasn’t out best performance and I’m not going to stand here and kid on I was happy with it,” he explained. “I’ve had no complaints with the way we’ve played all season but today we never played at the level we’re capable of.”
Edinburgh City: Stobie, Caddow, Donaldson, Porteous, Laird, McKee (Allum 80), McFarland (Beattie 73), Gair, Dunn, Guthrie (McConnell 71), See.
Clyde: Gibson, McNeil, McNiff, Smith, McLaughlin, Linton, Gormley (Flynn 68), Higgins, Johnston (Ferguson 64), MacDonald, Perry.