Edinburgh City boss Gary Jardine admitted there were harsh words said in the wake of Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat by Berwick Rangers, but also positives to take.
Ouzy See’s stunning opener looked to have City on their way to a maiden three points in League Two, only for Jordyn Sheeryn’s double to keep them pointless and bottom.
“I felt there was a dip in performance after we scored, a bit of relaxation and a lack of concentration,” said Jardine. “When we’ve made a mistake at this level it’s cost us in this first month. There were harsh words, but also certain aspects of our play in general deserved a lot of credit. It was much more like how I’d like to see us play at this level of football.”
City fashioned the first clear opportunity of the afternoon. Chris McKee’s free-kick was headed in to the path of Aaron Dunsmore in the area and the on-loan Hibs kid shot low with power, but Kevin Walker got strong wrists behind it to deny him.
A swift break from the visitors following a City corner ended with an audacious attempt from Sheeryn to chip Calum Antell from distance, but the Welshman flung himself to his right to palm wide.
Sheeryn must have thought he’d given the Wee Gers the lead on 20 minutes when he arrowed a shot towards the top corner from the edge of the area, but Antell showed great reactions to throw up a left hand and divert over.
A minor landmark was reached for Jardine’s men, going in level at the break for the first time this season, and then another when they took their first lead five minutes after the hour. John Dunn’s corner wasn’t cleared, and See showed brilliant improvisation and agility to smash home the bouncing ball with an overhead kick past the helpless Walker.
That joy was short-lived, however, as Berwick were awarded a spot kick when Dean Cummings inexplicably threw Steven Notman to the ground with the ball bouncing harmlessly out of the area, and Sheeryn sent Antell the wrong way to restore parity. “It’s one of these things,” said Jardine of the decision. “The ball’s gone over his head and he’s put his hands out to run and pushed him. It’s a silly penalty to give away.”
A loss of possession from Joe Mbu resulted in Berwick completing the turnaround. The loose ball was fired in behind for Sheeryn with City caught upfield and he lobbed Antell, who got a hand to the ball but couldn’t prevent it from bouncing in to the net. “I don’t think I’d blame Joe for that,” said his manager. “I’d blame him for allowing the guys in front of him to be unorganised. He was left with a 50-50 one-on-one, it’s broken and they’ve got the win, which looked unlikely at 1-0.”
Opposite number John Coughlin acknowledged Berwick were fortunate to take anything back down the A1.
“I think they can feel a bit sorry for themselves,” he said. “I spoke to Gary afterwards and they deserved more than they got. They were the team on the front foot and we couldn’t put two passes together. We were gifted a way back in to it to be honest. They’ll be wondering how they’re still searching for their first point, but it’ll be a matter of time. Thankfully on the day it wasn’t against us. We move on from it – three points was what it was all about – away from home it’s a good win for us.”
Edinburgh City: Antell, Caddow, Dunsmore, Mbu, Porteous, McKee, McFarland (McConnell 81), Dunn, Allum, See, Cummings (Gair 79).
Berwick Rangers: K Walker, Hamilton (Bald 90), McKinlay, Notman, Martin, Wilson, Thomson, Stirling (A Walker 71), Hurst (Orru 87), Lavery, Sheeryn.