Edinburgh City finally registered their first ever SPFL League Two point last weekend with a 1-1 draw at Stirling Albion, and now the focus for Calum Antell and his team-mates is a maiden victory at home to Montrose tomorrow.
The Gable Endies sit just above City in ninth, having mustered only two points from their own first five fixtures. So if City win they would leapfrog Montrose off the foot of the table.
Antell believes such an outcome would turn a good point gained at Forthbank six days ago into a great one, with the only direction being up.
“It would be massive, especially at home as well,” said the Welshman. “We want to get our first win at home for the crowd but it would also be a massive psychological boost to take us off the bottom. The good thing about being down there is the only way you can look is up. We’re still only taking each game as it comes, but it starts on Saturday and it’s a massive game already.
“I think our first point had been coming to be honest, we’ve been a bit unlucky. I know it was four defeats on the trot but apart from the Elgin game [a 3-0 defeat] we’ve been in the game but were getting punished for every mistake.
“We’ve played well in certain games but things haven’t gone for us. We’ve always known we can compete at this level, but when you get that first point you start believing you can go on and do well in this league – everyone can beat everyone. We’ve still to play a couple, but so far no-one’s really stood out. I haven’t seen much difference between Forfar, who are top, and us, it’s just been little mistakes.
“The boys have learnt the hard way, but hopefully with that point on the board we take it in to tomorrow and everyone will be a lot more positive going into the game.”
Montrose are no strangers themselves to the lower reaches of League Two, having only avoided relegation in 2014/15 with a play-off win over Brora Rangers, who ironically defeated City in the preceding semi-final.
Antell admitted that Paul Hegarty’s side were one they targeted at the beginning of the season as potentially one they could finish above.
“Montrose have been down there the last couple of seasons and those are the teams we need to be looking to take points off, especially if we’re at home,” he explained. “It only breeds confidence if you’re winning games, so if we can do that on Saturday it takes us into Annan the following week.
“It’s about building on results. The point last week was a massive one, especially with Rossco [Ross Allum] scoring his first goal of the season, so hopefully that builds his confidence as well and we can kick on.”
Allum had previously admitted to the Evening News that his lack of goals was becoming a frustration. While Antell would love for follow suit with a first clean sheet of the season, three points will do for starters.
“It’s always nice to have clean sheets and I’m like every other keeper that way,” said the former Hibs stopper. “But as long as we’re winning or staying in games that’s all that really matters to me. It’s alright having a good game, but to end up on the losing team isn’t really any good to anyone. I’d much prefer to be on the winning side if it meant not keeping a clean sheet.
“I’d never played with the boys before with this being my first season so it’s taken a bit of adjustment to get to know them and how they play. I don’t think I’ve been overly busy – the boys in front have me have done really well, especially in the last week or two, so the next couple of months is about staying in the team and building on that.
“Big Joe [Mbu] has been around the block, he’s very experienced and then you’ve got Ryan [Porteous, on loan from Hibs] who’s just starting off his career.
“It’s going to take time as it’s been a big step up for everyone and we’ve learnt the hard way. The last two games we’ve played our best football – our heads could have gone down – but that’s not been the case. We dug in and knew things would change.”