The modern saying of “scenes” is highly appropriate terminology to describe the ending to Edinburgh City’s dramatic 1-0 win over Arbroath at Gayfield.
With seconds left and both Clyde and Cowdenbeath winning, City were heading to second bottom of the Ladbrokes League Two table with just a point gap separating them and bottom-placed Cowden.
Ryan Porteous’ scrambled late winner with virtually the last kick of the game however, not only maintained their four-point cushion, but lifted them above Berwick to seventh.
“It was a great feeling – I’ve always wanted to do a knee slide!” laughed Porteous after the wild celebrations. “It was good to get the winner, but that’s the best we’ve defended all season. It was an aerial bombardment at times, but Big Joe [Mbu] was man of the match. He took me through it and [Chris] McKee through it but overall, it was a good defensive team performance.
“Craig Beattie said it at half-time, players like me and Joe should enjoy games like that. That’s why I’m on loan here – to get that experience defensively.”
With parent club Hibs securing the Championship title, it was some afternoon for ‘Porto’, but he isn’t getting carried away. “Magic!” was the response upon learning of the Hibees return to the Premiership. “The main objective for me isn’t to worry about that though, it’s to get City safe.
“It should be a quiet night – I’ll maybe go out with my mum and dad, nothing too silly. I’ve got a big game for Hibs 20s against Ross County on Tuesday and a league to win there.”
After a bright start, the hosts first opportunity fell to former Spartans winger Omar Kader on the angle, but he could only blast over Calum Antell’s bar.
City’s first attack almost brought an outstanding goal from Beattie. He dropped the shoulder and skipped inside two challenges before hitting a left-foot shot that was destined for the bottom corner but for a fine save from Ricky Gomes.
Seconds later, Mbu found himself in the unlikely situation of having rolled his man in the box with a clear shot on goal. His volley was well struck, but straight at Gomes who blocked well.
Steven Doris had the ball in the net on the stroke of half-time, but the flag had already gone up to deny the striker.
A ball over the top put Lewis Allan in behind just after the break, but his strike across Gomes was well held by the keeper.
A spill by Antell from a Bobby Linn cross fell perfectly for half-time sub Bryan Prunty to head home, but he saw his goal-bound effort deflect wide off Porteous.
Allan showed great control to pull down a kick from Antell, and was only denied a stunning individual goal when Gomes acrobatically tipped his drive over.
Just as the game moved in to stoppage time, City forced a dramatic winner. Gomes couldn’t deal with a high ball right underneath his crossbar, and Porteous bundled it home from close range.
That sparked a mass celebration down in the corner involving just about the entire City bench, with manager Gary Jardine sent to the stand in the aftermath.
“We’ve been on the end of late goals ourselves,” said the City boss. “We knew the other scores with Cowden winning and that Clyde had turned it round. Some players were maybe happy to take a point, but we need wins. I’ve always said we’ll fight to stay in the league because we’ve enjoyed it. It’s really exciting, and you see that at the end there.”
Arbroath: Gomes, Gold, Sukkar, Little, Hamilton, Whatley, Kader, McCord, Doris, Scott (Prunty 45), Linn.
Edinburgh City: Antell, Mbu, McKee, Porteous, Laird, Walker, Allan, Gair, Riordan (Dunsmore 64), Beattie (Guthrie 81), Dunn.
Referee: M Roncone.