Peter STENHOUSE scored an absolute wonder goal with only two minutes left to earn the home side an invaluable three points against their Capital rivals in this Central Taxis Premier Division relegation encounter.
Tynecastle, currently occupying bottom position, seemed certain to pick up a point in their quest to avoid the drop until Stenhouse’s 35 yard rocket fairly whizzed over the head of the startled Tynecastle goalkeeper, Jamie Newman. It is doubtful if there have been many better goals witnessed at Meadowbank Stadium and goalscorer Stenhouse never even saw the ball hitting the net. “I just turned and hit the ball and thought it was going over the bar so I turned my back,” explained Stenhouse. “The next thing I was surrounded by all the players congratulating me! The main thing was that it puts us eight points ahead of Tynecastle and hopefully that gets us out of the relegation zone”
Stenhouse, who had entered the contest on the hour mark, picked up a loose ball in the centre of the park and cut inside to create a shooting opportunity with his left foot. He connected perfectly and the ball travelled like a missile into the roof of the net.
The game had seemed destined to end goal-less although City had spurned the better chances while Tynecastle had at least one and maybe two legitimate claims for penalties turned aside. In the opening 20 minutes Dougie Gair hauled down Jamie Butler then Kevin Domingo upended Jamie Devlin but, despite loud appeals, referee Paul Hanlon waved play on.
City’s Andy Howat hit the side netting, Paul Devlin toe-poked the ball past the post and Robbie Ross managed to get the ball stuck under his feet only four yards out as City pressurised the Tynecastle defence, which was well marshalled by John Williams. Yazid Mejri brought out a good save from Newman and Ross did put the ball in the net, but from an offside position.
At the other end Butler tested Andrew Stobie, while City responded with a 20-yard shot from Ross which hit the post and Howat blasted the rebound high over. Ross was also denied a penalty when he appeared to be bundled off the ball by goalkeeper Newman. Then, with only two minutes left, came Stenhouse’s stunning winner.
Gary Jardine, the City manager, said: “I felt that, on the balance of the whole 90 minutes, we probably deserved to win. Although the second half was even, we missed four really good chances in the first half. I was disappointed to go in 0-0 at half time then Tynecastle pulled their socks up and gave every bit as good as we did.
“Until Peter scored I was thinking that a point would not have been a bad result. Peter has not played a lot of football in the past two years because of injuries. He has an eye for goal and he has that type of goal in his locker.
“We don’t see ourselves as safe just yet and we still have a lot of important games to come.”
Douglas Dalglish, the Tynecastle team director, said: “I thought that a draw would have been a fair result. Both sides had chances and I would have been happy to come away with a point. I also thought that we deserved at least one penalty.
“We now have to keep battling away and keep going.”
Edinburgh City: Stobie, Dingwall, Donaldson, Domingo (Stenhouse 60), Scott, Vanson, Howat (D Devlin 84), Gair, Ross, P Devlin (McFarland 77), Mejri. Subs: Bain, Macnamara.
Tynecastle: Newman, Caddow, Dewar, Kane, Williams, Burdett, Brown, Speed (Munro 71), Butler, See (Halley 77), Devlin (Harris 83). Subs: Pettigrew, Czop.
Referee: Paul Hanlon.