Edinburgh City manager Gary Jardine hailed Ross Allum’s quality after the striker’s double helped the Ferrari Packaging Lowland League leaders to a 3-1 win over Cumbernauld Colts.
John Dunn added a third in stoppage to inflict a first away league defeat of the season on the Lanarkshire side, who had levelled in the second half via a Jamie Broadfoot penalty.
Jardine was delighted with Allum’s contribution – particularly his late second goal - against a Cumbernauld side he rates highly. “What a finish by Ross,” he enthused. “He’s been fantastic ever since he’s been here and scored some wonderful goals. It was one of those days when, if you’re going to be up there challenging at the end of the season, it’ll be a game we look back on.
“I’d said earlier in the week about Cumbernauld being a top side at this level, especially away from home. We knew how they played but it didn’t make it any easier. They were difficult to break down, it was a sticky park and it was one of those when we had to show good heart, determination and believe the chance would come.”
Mark McConnell was first to threaten for City with a driving run from deep before cutting inside and sending a well-struck shot not too far over Sam George’s crossbar.
The hosts took a deserved lead just after the half-hour. Sean Muhsin’s angled delivery from deep was brilliantly attacked by Allum, who leapt highest to power a header over George from around 15 yards.
It could have been two when City engineered a three-on-one on the counter attack, but a slack first touch from McConnell meant the chance was gone.
The champions should have immediately doubled their advantage after the interval when a wayward clearance went straight to Muhsin on the edge of the box. The midfielder took a touch before opting for power rather than placement with his finish, that was well blocked by Andrew Ward.
Despite offering very little in an attacking sense, Cumbernauld were handed the chance to level from the spot minutes later. Robbie Duncan motored forward from right-back and was felled in the area by a combination of Joe Mbu and Ian McFarland. Broadfoot stepped up and sent Andrew Stobie the wrong way for what had seemed an unlikely equaliser.
There was controversy when James Barclay’s firm header looked like it may have crossed the line after Stobie’s attempts to keep it out at his right-hand post. Despite vociferous protests from the Colts players, referee Scott Millar waved play on.
A moment of brilliance from Allum restored City’s lead. The No.9 cleverly took down a lofted angled ball in the area before smashing an unstoppable volley in to the top corner, leaving George without a prayer.
Jardine’s men sealed the points with a classy third on the break. Ouzy See ran at the Colts’ defence before moving it wide to John MacDonald. His first time centre picked out Dunn’s run from deep, and he showed great composure to shimmy round George and roll it home.Having netted a brace in the corresponding fixture earlier in the season, Allum clearly enjoys playing against the Lowland League newcomers. “That’s four goals in two games against them – both winners that have come near the end, so it’s been good,” he explained. “My second one is up there with the first one I scored in the first game. It was a similar goal, take a touch and hit it into the top corner – it’s up there for this season anyway.”
Edinburgh City: Stobie, Caddow, Donaldson, McConnell (MacDonald 80), Paterson, McFarland, Muhsin (See 71), Allum (Vanson 83), Dunn, Gair, Mbu.
Cumbernauld Colts: George, Duncan, Kirwan, Oliver, Ward, Munn, Barkley, Broadfoot, Selkirk (MacDonald 70), Tilley (Ramsay 82) O’Neill.