Blair Henderson keeping feet on ground despite Edinburgh City's flying start
Edinburgh City's Blair Henderson is remaining grounded despite the Capital side now sitting just a point off the top of League Two following a 2-0 victory at Clyde.
Second-half goals from Henderson and strike partner Scott Shepherd secured City’s third victory of the season to take them to within touching distance of joint-leaders Annan and Peterhead, whom they face in their new two fixtures.
It was a fine all-round performance from James McDonaugh’s men, who look like a different animal this season. With the two aforementioned players, coupled with the trickery of Graham Taylor and Danny Handling’s experience – despite being just 24 – it augurs well for City in the weeks and months ahead.
And despite Henderson admitting there’s an air of confidence about the squad, he insists no-one is getting carried away in a black-and-white jersey.
“Broadwood is a hard place to come so it’s a big win for us,” said the 24-year-old, who has seven goals to his name already. “But we’re not getting ahead of ourselves as it’s a long and hard season and we’re only four games in. A lot can change in a split second but we’re happy with the way things are going. Anyone can take points off of anyone in this league so if you’d offered us nine points out of the first four games we would have taken it.
“I think we defended really well on Saturday but I never really had too many touches of the ball in the first half. If we get chances I think we’ve already shown we can score. I said before the season started I wanted to aim for 20 goals so hopefully I can keep it going.”
McDonaugh was deprived of the services of influential midfielder Marc Laird, who picked up a knock in the victory over Stirling Albion last weekend.
However, City’s midfield dominated the early stages and Shepherd almost flicked in the opener after five minutes following a short pass back from Bully Wee defender Scott Rumsby.
Clyde captain Kevin Nicoll caught a glimpse of goal from 25 yards but Calum Antell had time to set himself for the shot.
Chris McStay then unearthed a wonderful piece of skill on the half hour mark as he lobbed the ball over two City defenders before bearing down on Antell. The Clyde No.10 did everything right in guiding the ball low past the Welsh goalkeeper only to see his shot cleared off the line by Craig Thomson.
Handling brought out a fine save from Blair Currie 12 minutes after the restart following a well engineered move involving Henderson.
The visitors’ supremacy was rewarded, however, just five minutes later when Shepherd applied a cool finish into the bottom corner. And Henderson himself got in on the act, collecting a Taylor pass before slamming the ball beyond Currie to wrap up the points.
McDonaugh felt his side surpassed their performance levels of the previous week’s 3-1 win over Stirling.
“It was a complete performance and even better from how we played last weekend,” he said. “I think we rose to the challenge and played well throughout. We attacked with a threat, defended really well and weathered the storm when we went 1-0 up. I didn’t have any passengers at all so that’s huge credit to the players.
“I know they were missing David Goodwillie but that would be disrespectful to their other players. We were missing [Marc] Laird and [Josh] Walker who are two of the best central midfielders in the lower leagues so it evens itself out. When you’re winning it breeds confidence.”
Clyde: Currie, Cuddihy, Cogill (Ferns 64), McNiff, Rumsby, Grant, Rankin, Nicoll, Boyle (Lamont 58), McStay, Love. Subs: Hughes, Stewart, Duffie, Lang, Gorman.
Edinburgh City: Antell, Thomson, McIntyre, Black, Balatoni, L Henderson, Handling (Donaldson 90), Taylor, Stewart, B Henderson, Shepherd (Smith 82). Subs: Morton, Rodger, Hall, Lumsden.
Referee: Graham Beaton