Edinburgh City boss curses bad luck in cup exit

Queen's Park celebrate after goalkeeper Willie Muir saved Mark Osborne's penalty to clinch victory. Pic: Toby Williams
Queen's Park celebrate after goalkeeper Willie Muir saved Mark Osborne's penalty to clinch victory. Pic: Toby Williams
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Edinburgh CITY boss Gary Jardine bemoaned “a lack of luck” as his side were edged out 3-1 on penalties by Queen’s Park following a no-scoring draw in the first round of the Petrofac Training Cup.

Jardine’s decision to play five pre-season matches against SPFL opposition was vindicated as City’s strong physical presence and tight defending throughout ensured the Lowland League champions did not disgrace themselves against Gus McPherson’s outfit.

Over the 90 minutes, the visitors created the better opportunities but it was City who looked the more likely to break the deadlock in extra time with two golden chances spurned.

“We were disappointed with how we played over the 90 minutes,” said Jardine.

“We didn’t start the second half particularly well, but we gradually grew into the match and created the better chances in extra-time.

“Our shape and work-rate was superb throughout and it maybe just needed that bit of luck in front of goal that you need at times.”

Jardine – who hopes to complete the signing of former Levski Sofia player Ortega Deniran in time for next week’s Lowland League curtain-raiser against Gretna 2008 – also heaped praised on his trialist goalkeeper Gregor Amos, who retained his place in goal after featuring in midweek against East Stirlingshire.

Amos spent last season at East of Scotland champions Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale and the former Falkirk Under-20 goalkeeper showed no sign of nerves at the weekend.

“Gregor had a good game. He’s only been with us six days but he’s kept two clean sheets over the course of 210 minutes of football.”

Ian McFarland missed out for City having suffered a broken nose against the Shire.

The best chance of the first half fell to the visitors right on the stroke of half-time, Sean Burns turned City defender Christopher McKee before his curling shot came back off the post.

The opening minutes of the second half were anxious for City with Vincent Berry having a shot blocked inside the penalty box.

The introduction of former Spartans player Sean Muhsin on 65 minutes seemed to inject much-needed pace to the City midfield although they were guilty of giving away possession on a few occasions.

Five minutes into extra-time, City came agonisingly close to taking the lead when Gair’s cross from the left wing came off the bar, with Muhsin firing the rebound narrowly wide.

Mark McConnell stung the palms of Queens keeper William Muir with a long-distance effort whilst Deniran had a shot saved at the near post.

City were unable to find the opening and it was Muir who was the hero for the Spiders in the shoot-out as he stopped kicks from Muhsin, Dean Carse and Mark Osborne with Dougie Gair the sole converter for the Capital men.

Edinburgh City: Trialist, McConnell, Donaldson, Guthrie (Muhsin), McKee, Mbu, Dunn, Gair, Allum (Trialist), Osborne, MacDonald (Carse). Unused subs; Narayaninsamy, Wishart, Harrison, MacNamara.

Queen’s Park: Muir, McVey, Burns, Wharton, Quinn, Gibson, Woods, Berry, Carter (Galt), McKernon (Mortimer), McLeish (McElroy). Unused subs; Baty, Marlow, Gallagher, O’Boyle.