Edinburgh CITY boss Gary Jardine is confident that if his players believe in their own abilities, then the Meadowbank-based club are more than capable of progressing to the second round of the William Hill Scottish Cup at the expense of Shotts Bon Accord, who they meet at home in their first round replay.
The two teams met at Hannah Park last Saturday and drew 1-1, with substitute Paul Devlin netting a late equaliser for City against the Emirates Scottish Junior Cup holders.
“We started really well and were the better side for the opening twenty minutes before it became a more even contest,” said Jardine. “Shotts got their noses in front ten minutes before half-time when a cross from the left hit our defender Ruaraidh Scott and went into the net. That gave Shotts a bit of a lift and they started the second half better.
“However, our substitutes Jamie Elliot and Paul Devlin gave us some fresh legs and we got back into the game, although I have to admit that it was against the run of play when we equalised.
“Shotts are a very good Junior side with a mixture of youth and experience in their line-up. They have experience at the back, quality in midfield and pace up front. They go forward really well and always look liable to score so we did really well to contain them.”
Jardine did some further homework on Shotts in midweek when he travelled to Glasgow to observe them losing 3-1 to Pollok. “They were losing 2-0 and got themselves back into the game with a goal but then conceded another in a breakaway,” he said. “It was a useful journey because I learned a bit more about them and I can use that information tomorrow.”
Jardine, though, is quick to point out that tomorrow is not about Shotts Bon Accord – it is about Edinburgh City. “We don’t fear Shotts,” stressed Jardine. “Our players were actually disappointed in the dressing room after last week’s game because they felt that we had given Shotts too much respect. Of course we have to be mindful of Shotts’ qualities but we have to concentrate on our own game and give everything we have.”
Last Saturday, City were without their injured striker Robbie Ross who, after a training session last night, is confident that he will be able to feature if required. However, Devlin is unavailable and defender Sean Harrison, who had to come off after only twenty minutes last Saturday, will be given a late fitness test and Scott Clapperton is likely to join the squad.
“I could not fault any of my players’ application and determination last week, although I definitely feel that in terms of quality we can improve our game. We must do what I believe we are good at – this game really is about us.”
Ross Guthrie, after missing almost a year out of football due to a cruciate injury, has started this season very well and captain Dougie Gair, who has scored ten Scottish Cup goals, is an influential player for City.
The draw for the second round has already been made and the carrot for City is an away tie against SFL side Montrose. “It would be great to have the opportunity of playing against an SFL side and pitting our wits against them but we have to concentrate and focus on tomorrow’s game against Shotts,” said Jardine. “All of us are looking forward to the game and I can guarantee that all of my players don’t envisage being beaten. They want more action in the Scottish Cup!”
The game kicks-off at Meadowbank Stadium at 3.00pm with admission prices, adults £5.00 and concessions £2.50. Extra-time and penalty kicks, if necessary, will be utilised to determine which team goes forward to meet Montrose.