Edinburgh City ‘not safe yet’ despite biggest win of season

Dougie Gair celebrates scoring his penalty. Pic: Andrew O'Brien
Dougie Gair celebrates scoring his penalty. Pic: Andrew O'Brien
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Gary Jardine had asked for a response from his Edinburgh City players to last week’s loss at Clyde, and they did so by delivering their biggest win of the season against Elgin.

A Dougie Gair brace and Jordan Caddow’s first of the campaign made for a comprehensive 3-0 victory that moved City seven points clear of bottom club Cowdenbeath, and three ahead of Clyde in ninth.

Jardine revealed that the players as much has anyone were demanding better of themselves after the second-half collapse at Broadwood.

“Last week was as bad as we’ve been all season,” he said. “We spoke during the week at length, and the payers did more talking than me. They were upset and unhappy with how they had performed last week and were looking for a reaction. Talk’s cheap, but they put their words into action and fully deserved the three points.”

Having re-established a cushion over the teams below them, Jardine is eager to keep ticking off the fixtures with a lead intact. “The games can’t disappear quick enough,” he said. “Under no circumstances do we think we’re safe. We’ve always said it’s going to go to the end of the season and Cowdenbeath and Clyde will both win games between now and the end of the season. We need to try and do the same.”

Having gone close through Joe Mbu and seen Lewis Allan hit the bar, City achieved the breakthrough their play deserved seven minutes from the interval. Ian McFarland’s drilled pass into the area found Marc Laird’s feet. After his initial mis-control, he laid it back to Gair who dispatched past Cameron MacKay for his second goal in three games.

In contrast to the previous week, the second 45 got off to a perfect start for City. Josh Walker’s angled ball was chested down by Craig Beattie before David Brownie handled. Referee John McKendrick pointed to the spot, and Gair buried the penalty to double his team’s advantage.

It was yet another occasion on which Gair has come up with important goals. “I was a bit surprised to be that high up the park today,” said the skipper. “Gary called me in before he read the team out and told me where I was going to be, and to be honest I instantly thought ‘hat-trick’! I probably should have had it, but I’ll take the two for sure.

“The second goal was massive. Beats [Craig Beattie] has taken it down and rolled down the guy’s arm, so it’s a clear penalty and I’ve done what I tend to do from 12 yards and managed to tuck it away. It gave us that cushion and allowed us to relax a bit. Previously when we’ve come out for the second half leading, it’s been backs to the wall stuff and we start to get nervous, but that didn’t really happen.”

Further chances for Beattie and Allan could have put more distance between the sides, with it being one-way traffic before City decided to manage the game for the last 20 minutes. The points were wrapped up with five to go when Caddow tapped home Allan’s cross to the back post.

“I think that was a roll back to the 05/06 season with me on the left and him on the right,” said Gair of the rare goal for the long-serving right-back. “I saw him pop up at the back post and was still expecting him to miss it even from a yard! I’m delighted for him, he’s had to wait for his chance but that’s him on the score sheet.”

Edinburgh City: Antell, Mbu, Dunsmore, Beattie (Caddow 76), Laird, McKee, McFarland (McConnell 83), Gair, Allan, Walker (Guthrie 89), Dunn.

Elgin City: MacKay, Sinnamon (T), McHardy, Nicolson, Brownlie, Reilly, Dodd, Cameron, MacLeish (Gunn 58), Sutherland (Reid 58), Stewart (Moore 45).

Referee: John McKendrick.

Attendance: 396.