Edinburgh City made it three wins from three in the Lowland League this season with a 2-0 triumph over Dalbeattie Star at Meadowbank on Saturday.
A goal in each half from top scorer Mark Osborne was enough to keep City level on points with East Kilbride at the top of the table. Osborne now has five goals for the season already, and manager Gary Jardine was delighted with his contribution: “He keeps doing it. It’s the case with all strikers – when you’re hot, you’re hot. He took his finishes really well and put them right in the corner.
“He doesn’t say a word to anybody! He’s only 18 but he’s done fantastically well.”
City were first to threaten in their first home game of the league campaign after ten minutes. Osborne linked well Ian McFarlane before teeing up Mark Torrance, but his left-foot shot was well blocked.
Striker Peter Stenhouse was next to have a sight of goal but his powerful effort from 20 yards was deflected into Dalbeattie goalkeeper Ross Hyslop’s arms.
Star had struggled to make much of an impression in the opening stages, and Lewis Sloan’s audacious lob from the centre circle on 20 minutes drifted well wide. The home side should have been ahead after 22 minutes. Gordon Donaldson steered Torrance’s deep cross into Osbourne’s path, but he blazed the effort over.
He made no mistake just seconds later. Hyslop sclaffed the resulting goal kick and the No. 11 kept his composure as he bore down on goal to slot home and give his side a deserved lead.
Hyslop fared better with Ian McFarlane’s dipping effort in the 32nd minute, gathering at the second attempt.
The Meadowbank side came close to increasing their lead two minutes from the break when Donaldson’s low drive from an acute angle flashed wide.
Gary Jardine’s team did manage to double their advantage just four minutes after the re-start. John Dunn’s through ball put Osborne in on goal, and the forward produced a mirror image of his first goal, stroking the ball across Hyslop into the far corner.
The visitors raised the tempo in an effort to get themselves back into the match, but City’s back line coped well with whatever Star could muster.
Ross Allum had a chance to put the game beyond doubt but could only shoot tamely at Hyslop after fellow sub Wilson had teed him up with 20 minutes remaining.
That was the last meaningful action of the 90 as the Capital outfit retained an element of control to secure the victory.
City boss Jardine revealed he had asked his team to alter their style slightly ahead of this one.
He said: “We took a slightly different approach. Having spoken to the guys last night, I thought we had tired legs after putting so much into the Spartans game. We created lots of chances but slowed the game down a bit and tried to quicken it up when we got forward. Again, an early goal helped and allowed us to play the game at our pace.”
Despite their excellent start, Jardine was keen to impress that his side don’t harbour title ambitions just yet.
“We haven’t even talked about winning the league. All we’ve talked about is for the last four or five years we’ve improved year in year out, but when we’ve gotten to January we’re out of the league race.
“We’re just trying to stay close to Spartans, Whitehill, Dalbeattie and Stirling and be close to the top of the table at the end of the year.”
Edinburgh City: Stobie, Caddow, Donaldson, McKee, Paterson, Mbu, McFarland, Torrance (Gair, 79), Stenhouse (Allum, 39), Dunn, Osborne (Wilson, 68)
Dalbeattie Star: Hyslop, Maxwell, Warren, Neill, Cameron, Dunglinson, Park, Steele, Rudd (Carnochan, 45), Sloan (Kerr, 64), Milligan (Muir, 87)