Edinburgh City 3
Scott FUSCO sealed a historic victory for Edinburgh City when his close range effort seven minutes from time secured the Capital club’s progress to the third round of the William Hill Scottish Cup.
It was a win that was thoroughly deserved by City against their SFL Division Three opponents who, only one week earlier, had held Rangers to a 1-1 draw at half-time at Ibrox. The City boys travelled north quietly confident having done their homework as goalscorer Fusco explained: “Gary [Jardine, manager] had us really well prepared and I think that from start to finish we were probably the better team.”
City had never previously beaten an SFL club away from home in the Scottish Cup and from the kick off they set about their higher level opponents with a snap shot from Ross which shaved the post. A penetrating cross from Andy Howat was then well gathered by Davis Crawford in the Montrose goal. City were dealt a blow only eight minutes into the game when central defender Shaun Harrison limped off to be replaced by youngster Callum McLean. But only two minutes later the visitors took the lead when Ross Guthrie, who had a very impressive game, scampered down the left and cut the ball back low from the bye line to find Robbie Ross who slid the ball into the net at the second attempt.
Montrose were limited to long range efforts which went high and wide and rarely tested Andrew Stobie in the City goal. At the other end a Fusco free kick picked out Guthrie and his delicate lob landed on the roof of the net with Crawford scrambling. But on the stroke of half time Montrose equalised when a David Gray corner was converted by Paul Lunan.
However, City came out of the traps flying and Robbie Ross, Dougie Gair and Guthrie all had shots which Crawford held. City looked the more composed side and in the 76th minute Mark Torrance, who ran his socks off in midfield, crossed a beautiful ball to Ross who leapt above his marker to head the ball beyond Crawford. City were now in pole position and Guthrie seemed certain to add to their tally when he was clean through but his 16-yard shot hit the post. City were not to be denied a third goal and Fusco duly obliged when he forced the ball over the line after Vanson’s corner. In fact, City were unfortunate not to score more goals with Ryan Wilson, Howat and Gair all testing Crawford who was by far the busier goalkeeper.
Stobie, the City goalkeeper, said: “That was an incredible 90 minutes. Obviously, before the game we thought that we had a chance. As a player you dream about days like this although we felt that we could compete against an SFL team. I honestly think that Montrose did not do their homework on us and felt that they just needed to turn up. Credit has to go to our management and backroom staff for going to watch Montrose against Shotts Bon Accord in the previous round. I never really felt troubled.”
Gary Jardine, the City manager, added: “That’s a brilliant result. I’ve been at City for ten years as a player, coach and now manager. Saturday represented the best chance we had of beating a Scottish League club and that proved to be the case.
“We started the game really well and I felt that we deserved our lead. There was not a lot between the sides and 1-1 at half time was probably fair. Scoring against a league club gave us a lot of confidence and at half time I said to the players that we were more than a match for Montrose. I said Montrose would be complacent and that they would treat us lightly so we had to be into their faces. I said that we would trouble them with our pace up front and that’s what we did. We scored a couple of goals and could have had more.
“The third goal was the icing on the cake. Every manager is looking for Rangers away in the next round but why not look to progress again with a draw against another club of a similar level?”
Montrose: D Crawford, McNally, R McIntosh, McGuire, Lunan, Masson, Gray (Winter 75), J Crawford (Johnston 67), L McIntosh, G Wood, Young. Subs: McLeish, Reid, S Wood.
Edinburgh City: Stobie, Dingwall, Scott (Wilson 60), Harrison (McLean 8), Fusco, Vanson, Torrance, Gair, R Ross, Guthrie (Devlin 89), Howat. Subs: Clapperton, Mackintosh.
Referee: Graham Beaton.