We let ourselves down in final third – Edinburgh City boss

Edinburgh City striker Lewis Allan wins a header against Annan. Pic: Alex Drysdale

Edinburgh City striker Lewis Allan wins a header against Annan. Pic: Alex Drysdale

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Edinburgh City boss Gary Jardine was left to rue his team’s lack of cutting edge after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Annan at Galabank.

Peter Weatherson’s scrambled first-half effort was more than City could muster. The Capital side are still awaiting their first win of 2017.

Despite some good build-up play, the Meadowbank outfit were unable to turn their possession into goals, failing to trouble home goalkeeper Darren Currie nearly enough.

“In the main, especially in the second half, I thought we played some really good stuff,” said Jardine.

“We defended well in each half and moved the ball really well. It was our play in the last third that let us down. We got to the byline a few times but we just didn’t provide the quality with the final ball.

“I’m really disappointed with the goal we lost. I’ll have to have a look at it again, but I thought we were soft when we’re maybe used to Joe [Mbu] taking the lead in there.”

City were inches away from taking the lead within the first five minutes. Josh Walker’s low corner was helped on a the near post by Chris McKee, who was only denied by a goal-line clearance.

Annan’s first attempt came via a Weatherson free-kick although the experienced striker’s effort was straight down Andrew Stobie’s throat.

The Annan No.9 was celebrating soon after. An old-fashioned stramash in the City box ended with Weatherson getting a toe on the ball and it agonisingly rolled past Stobie with just enough pace to take it in at the back post.

A mix-up between McKee and Shaun Harrison afforded David McKenna a clear run on goal and he should have done better, with Stobie saving well nevertheless.

Annan started the second as they finished the first, Darren Ramsey playing a neat one-two with Weatherson before sending a drive just wide of the top corner. At the other end, Josh Walker’s left-footed effort was comfortably wide of Currie’s left-hand post.

City had the hosts pinned back with a series of corners, although when the ball did finally fall favourably, Harrison could only blast over.

It was attack against defence at times, with Annan unable to get out. However, for all City’s pressure, they created little clear-cut. Weatherson came close to his and Annan’s second when he sent a free-kick just wide.

Jardine was unable to name a full bench due to injuries, which meant being able to introduce more of a goal threat from the sidelines was challenging.

“It was difficult to change it, but it was more down to our final ball,” he assessed. “We didn’t really give Lewis [Allan] any real quality. We didn’t get numbers in and Guff [Ross Guthrie] didn’t get in the box enough. It would have been nice to have Ouzy [See] and Beats [Craig Beattie] available as that would have strengthened us and we’re always going to miss quality players when they’re out. I still think we did enough to have taken something from the game – I don’t think we played badly.”

Opposite number Jim Chapman didn’t disagree and was delighted to have hung on for the win.

“We played well last week and came away with nothing,” he said. “We didn’t play as well as we can on Saturday, but I also give credit to Edinburgh City. They have good, experienced players. They’re quite a strong, physical team but we matched up as well as we could and got the breaks where it counted.”

Annan Athletic: Currie, Lucas, Stewart, Black, Swinglehurst, Skelton, Wright, Ramsey, Weatherson (Osadolar 82), McKenna (Smith 67), Flanagan (Omar 56).

Edinburgh City: Stobie, Dunsmore, Porteous, Harrison, Walker, McKee, Allan, Gair (McConnell 65), Laird (Caddow 87), Dunn, Guthrie (McFarland).