Edinburgh City captain Dougie Gair spot-on in vital moments

Dougie Gair has a habit of scoring important goals from the penalty spot
Dougie Gair has a habit of scoring important goals from the penalty spot
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Dougie Gair is developing a habit of netting historic goals for Edinburgh City.

The skipper got the winner in the 1-0 home win over Stirling University that clinched a second successive Lowland League title back in the spring.

He then followed that with the goal that made the Meadowbank outfit a league club, slotting home a late spot kick in their SPFL Play-off final victory over East Stirlingshire.

His latest may prove to be instrumental if they are to retain league status at the end of the campaign. Not surprisingly, it was another penalty that finally gave City their first three points of the season, leaving Links Park with a 1-0 triumph over Montrose.

“It was good to eventually get a win in the league last Saturday,” said Gair. “Notching the winner, and from the spot again, seems to be a recurring theme at the moment. I was happy just to tuck it away. It probably wasn’t my best hit, but it’s gone in the back of the net which is all that matters.”

Their maiden league victory was hot on the heels of a first win of any kind this season – again 1-0 – which came against Forfar in a William Hill Scottish Cup second round replay. Gair hailed that result as a major catalyst in City getting off the mark in the league days later. “Numerous people have probably said it over the last few weeks, but it had been coming,” he said.

“If you look at it, we’re unbeaten in our last four. We’ve drawn twice with Forfar, beat them in the cup and then beat Montrose. The performances have been there so hopefully now the results will start to flow. It was good to get that confidence and now that we know we can win, we need to keep it going.”

That begins tomorrow at home to Annan. The responding fixture at Galabank produced a 1-1 draw in a game the visitors probably should have won. With Montrose responding to last weekend’s defeat with a win of their own over tomorrow’s opponents on Tuesday night, it highlights the need to put a run together, rather than isolated victories.

“There won’t be any relaxing on our part,” Gair insisted. “Montrose won the other night so we know that teams are going to pick up points so it’s important we do the same. Gary [Jardine’s] still got the belief that we’re going to climb up that league and that’s evident with the players as well. We need to keep performing and putting results together. Teams are going to take points off each other; it’s a really close, competitive league. Montrose have had two decent reacts 
recently and they hammered Forfar a couple of weeks ago.”

Gair acknowledges that a change in style may help them maintain this unbeaten run. 
After going toe to toe with teams in high scoring games early in the campaign (‘too honest” according to boss Jardine), City more closely resemble the side that strolled to successive Lowland League titles. There are goals in the side, but the organised, stubborn edge that gave little away is back and paying dividends.

“Over the last few weeks we’ve hardly conceded any goals,” said midfielder Gair. “At the start of the season we went with the same formation as last year and it probably wasn’t working, so we changed it. But we seem to have reverted back to that now and we look a bit more solid. The boys have got used to the system again and blocking teams out, which comes with the confidence of getting good results as well. Once we start scoring we’ll keep them out at the other. That’s been 
vitally important.

“I’ve mentioned before about us becoming more streetwise and I think that’s filtering through. We’re learning how to go about it and how to ‘win nasty’ but at the same time, we need to pick our moments. We need to know when to defend, when to go forward and I think that’s all starting to come together now.

“Most of our games this year will be tight, and with Annan losing midweek they’ll be looking to get back on track and coming up the road fired up. When we played them in the East of Scotland days they were always tight, hard-fought games and I expect no different tomorrow.”