Edinburgh City boss: We were better team and should have won

Edinburgh City manager James McDonaugh felt his team should have taken maximum points after drawing 0-0 with Cowdenbeath.

Monday, 27th November 2017, 5:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th December 2017, 11:57 am
Edinburgh City striker Farid El Alagui, right, battles with Cowdenbeath's Jamie Pyper. Pic: Ian Georgeson
Edinburgh City striker Farid El Alagui, right, battles with Cowdenbeath's Jamie Pyper. Pic: Ian Georgeson

The result means it’s as you were at the foot of Ladbrokes League Two, with City a point ahead of their opponents with a game in hand.

McDonaugh was left to rue missed chances in the first half with both sides struggling to create much as the game wore on.

“I don’t think a draw was fair – we were the better team,” he assessed. “In the first half, we had chances to be in front in the game although in the second half it was pretty even, to be fair. Over the piece, I think we were better but credit to Cowdenbeath, they defended well and got a point.

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“We were disappointed we weren’t ahead at half-time. I thought we could just play that wee bit more football in the second half, but we actually played less and there was nothing in it.”

The Fifers spurned a good early opportunity when Cameron Muirhead’s heavy touch inadvertently set up Brad Smith, but his drive across Calum Antell went just past the far post.

City somehow failed to take the lead after quarter of an hour. Josh Walker released Scott Shepherd down the right channel, who picked out striker partner Farid Alagui at the back post, but the former Hibs striker inexplicably headed wide when it seemed easier to score.

“He should have scored and he’ll know that himself,” said his manager afterwards. “It’s probably too easy for him and he’s probably celebrating his goal before he’s actually made contact with it – it’s a great ball in.”

Walker then picked out Shepherd again – this time with a cross – but the off-balance Falkirk loanee couldn’t direct his header on target.

Walker was proving to be a creative force, and showed good feet on the edge of the area before hitting a left -foot drive that David McGurn did well to palm away. Antell did similar at the other end after Smith’s well-improvised back-heel attempt.

It was the City captain again going close before half-time when he pulled the ball out of the air, sidestepped the initial block and aimed for the far corner, only to see his strike deflected wide.

The second half provided precious little in the way of chances. A deflected Fraser Mullen free-kick that Antell tipped over with just over 20 minutes to go was the only thing either keeper had been called upon to deal with.

A Liam Henderson volley from a Craig Thomson corner looked goal-bound but for a painful looking block for a Cowdenbeath defedner before Walker sent the loose ball high over the bar.

A second-half injury to Shaun Harrison – who went down while in possession deep in his own half – will leave McDonaugh even shorter of bodies.

“I think Shaun’s done his ligaments,” he said. “It’s not looking too good for him, to be honest. I did panic a bit because I thought they were going to score as well as him being injured which would’ve been a double blow.

“It is what it is, though. We’re a bit thin on the ground – we couldn’t even name a full bench today and that’ll be another one out for next week.”

Despite that, the City boss insisted: “Listen, when you’re in this position you’ve got to concentrate on positives. “There’s annoying negatives you can look at and you can bawl and shout all day long but you’ve got to deal with the reality. It’s another game without losing so we’ll take that positive.”

Edinburgh City: Antell, McKee, Harrison (Grimes 74), Walker, Laird, Thomson, Beattie, Henderson, El Alagui, Shepherd, Morrison.

Cowdenbeath: McGurn, McInally, Swann, Pyper, Rumsby, Malcolm, Whittaker, Miller, Muirhead (Garden 84), Smith, Trialist (Mullen 64).

Referee: David Lowe

Attendance: 346