Edinburgh University came from behind to secure their first win of the Lowland League season in style, beating Preston Athletic 5-1 win over at The Pennypit on Saturday.
Two goals apiece for Ciaran Duffy and Dan Ward, and a Jack Guthrie strike blew the ten-man Panners away after Chris Cairney’s early opener.
Manager Dorian Ogunro was delighted with his side’s response after falling behind: “The goal we gave away was really poor defending but despite that we were at it and I was quite confident that we would get back in the game.”
An afternoon to forget for Preston couldn’t have got off to a better start when they took the lead with the game’s first attack inside two minutes. Cairney slid in to divert Sean Martin’s low ball across goal past Uni keeper Mark Tait to give David Bingham’s men an early advantage.
Martin should have made it 2-0 after quarter of an hour but miss-hit his close-range left-foot effort. Brian Foster came even closer to a second a minute later and the big striker was unlucky to see his looping header bounce off the crossbar.
The students made their hosts pay for that miss on 21 minutes when Duffy spun in the box and fired past John Gilbertson to equalise despite claims for offside.
Uni had Tait to thank for keeping the scores level after he pulled off a great one-handed save from Martin’s low drive that looked net-bound all the way after 27 minutes.
Again, the away team responded to a near miss by scoring themselves in the 33rd minute. Duffy finished from a similar position to his first after a well worked free-kick between Paul Sutherland and Dan Ward.
The Panners were almost level nine minutes after the break when Tait palmed substitute Ryan Moore’s cross on to his own post, but Ward increased Uni’s lead just a minute later, hooking the ball first-time over Gilbertson after Sutherland picked him out with a clipped delivery from a free-kick.
Any chance of a Preston comeback was ended just after the hour when Jack Bruce received a second yellow card for scything down substitute Jack Guthrie. Guthrie himself made it 1-4 two minutes later. Captain Duncan Black’s surging run took him past three challenging defenders and his through-ball sent Guthrie clear to finish coolly past Gilbertson.
Ward grabbed his second and his team’s fifth with 19 minutes remaining. The midfielder strode past two tired tackles and confidently slotted home.
It was the perfect reaction to last week’s 0-5 Scottish Cup humbling against Hurlford Utd at the same ground, and Ogunro added: “I’m happy with the response from last week because I felt that we should have played better – not saying we would have won – but we could have played a lot better as a bare minimum so I’m happy.”
In contrast, David Bingham’s men are still to register a win this term, and the Preston boss maintains that only hard work will get his team out of their current rut.
“We got the rough end of the stick on a couple of decisions but it’s the players who have to take responsibility, and myself as the manager.
“The heads went down in the second half which is understandable as we’re on a bad run, but as I said before, the only people who can dig us out of this is ourselves as a group. No-one’s going to give us any favours.”
Preston Athletic: Gilbertson, Fergus (Strachan 46), Bruce, Moloney, Todd, Gilhooley, Cairney, Ramsay, Martin, Osborne (Moore 46), Foster (Devlin 61).
Edinburgh Uni: Tait, MacFarlane, Sutherland, Flett, Black, Daniels, Ward, Coleman (Maelger 69), Duffy (Oswald 78), Hodgson (Guthrie 46); McMillan.