The Jolly secured their first points of the season with a 2-0 win over Pavilion in Premier Division 1 of the Lothian and Edinburgh Amateur FA Sunday Section at Peffermill.
David Miller and Harry Turner grabbed the goals as the hosts shot up to fifth in the table and consigned Pavilion to their second defeat in two games.
There was a competitive edge to a match that featured some attractive passing football, and proceedings took a turn for the worse in the closing stages when an altercation between Pavilion’s Ian Bowden and Jolly’s James Conaghan resulted in both players being sent off.
Pavilion were unlucky not to be leading at half-time after applying no little pressure on their opponents’ goal, but it was the Jolly who created the opening chance. Turner’s shot was saved by Pavilion goalkeeper Scott Walker and his rebound was blocked before Miller shot wide. Ten minutes later, Pavilion came inches away from opening the scoring when Graeme Cummings shot against the post.
The Jolly opened the scoring four minutes after the start of the second half. A long cross-field ball found Miller whose low strike from the edge of the area found the bottom left corner of the net.
The home side’s lead was doubled with their next chance. Sam Dowie played a pass down the left wing to Turner, who advanced into the penalty area and rolled the ball past Walker to secure the win for The Jolly.
After 82 minutes, events soured when Pavilion’s Bowden and The Jolly’s Conaghan clashed, with the latter appearing to head-butt his opponent. Bowden reacted aggressively to this confrontation, and both players were duly dismissed.
Jeff Steele, The Jolly coach, was pleased to secure the win but felt his team could benefit from improved fitness levels. He said: “I thought that Pavilion moved the ball well but the only goal that they would be scoring would be from a defensive mistake. I thought we played well.
“We normally play a 3-5-2 but we got beaten last week so changed it to 4-4-2 and I thought the guys did really well. I think we need to focus on our fitness because we only had two pre-season friendlies. It was a stupid sending off. It looked as if the players squared up. I think it was purely down to us getting nervous because we hadn’t finished it off.”
“We won the treble last season [league title, League Cup and President’s Cup] and we’re aiming to win the title this season. The cups are a bonus.”
Pavilion secretary Stuart Paterson felt that the scoreline was harsh. He is looking for the team to establish themselves in the LEAFA league this season.
He said: “We probably had the better chances. We hit the woodwork a few times. If we would have scored it would have been a different game. We were probably the better team in the first half but it’s the goals that count.
“I didn’t see the red card incident very well but the referee said that their player head-butted our player so he got sent off for that, and our player reacted. I think we might be able to appeal it. This is the first time we’ve played in the LEAFA league. Our aim is to consolidate this season and take it from there.”
The Jolly: Darren Marshall, Paul Murray, Thomas Lowrie, Ryan Campbell, James Conaghan, Callum Conaghan, Danny Donoghue, Harry Turner, David Miller, Liam Robertson, Kevin Pacitti, Robin Williams, Blair Jeffery, Jamie Boyle, Jordan Robertson.
Pavilion: Scott Walker, Sam Dowie, Ian Bowden, Chris Crichton, Simon Walton, Thomas Chisholm, Anthony Thornton, Michael Stevenson, Graeme Cummings, Robert McVicar, Alasdair Graham, Calum Alexander, Stuart Paterson, Paul Archibald, Andrew Cole.