Edinburgh City have a new hero in Karim Belmokhtar
If little was known about debutant Edinburgh City striker Karim Belmokhtar when his name appeared on the team sheet on Saturday, by full-time everyone at Broadwood knew Edinburgh City have a talent on their hands.
The French-Algerian netted two stunning goals as City came from behind to claim a dramatic 3-2 win over The Bully Wee. His first cancelled out Max Wright’s early opener while his second put City in front midway through the second half.David Goodwillie’s late leveller looked to have rescued a point for Jim Chapman’s men, only for Craig Beattie to nod home the winner deep in to stoppage time.
Having impressed during a pre-season trial, City boss Gary Jardine signed the 21-year-old frontman on an amateur contract on Friday, and he couldn’t have hoped for a better first outing from his new No. 9.
“We’ve been patient with him,” Jardine explained. “We saw him for 40 minutes in pre-season and he did fantastically well. We spoke to his representatives and they had plans for him to do some training with full-time teams and I think he was in at Dundee United.
“We want the best for him. One of the big appeals for him is that we have a young side, but have some specific, quality, experienced players in certain positions and he’s looked at Craig Beattie as someone that can help him and improve his game.
“I think that if he, at some point in the future, gets a full-time deal then in Craig Beattie and Ashley Grimes he’ll have a big partner.
“In terms of Edinburgh City, he’s given us something we’ve been lacking in terms of cutting edge, someone that can take us up the park and obviously someone that can score goals.”
And goals were needed after Clyde took an early lead.
Jordan Stewart’s in-swinging free-kick looked to have gone straight in, but Wright wheeled away claiming the slightest of touches to help it past Calum Antell. The leveller, when it came, was stunning.
Belmokhtar picked the ball up left of centre, drove past two challenges and unleashed an unstoppable strike in to the top corner of the goal, leaving Blair Currie without a hope.
His second after the break was just as impressive. Collecting possession from a short free-kick he won himself, he danced past two tackles before lashing the ball high in to the net from 20 yards to turn the game around.
It looked to be the winner, only for Goodwillie’s hooked volley to restore parity with two minutes to go after the stand-side assistant judged it to have crossed the line before Stuart Morrison headed away.
A moment of madness from Andrew Munro undid it. The on-loan Forfar defender was shown a straight red for going right through the back of former Loons team-mate Gavin Malin. From the resulting free-kick, Beattie nodded past Currie to spark wild celebrations on the away bench and claim the points. “Great way to get the [goal] first of the season,” said the former Scotland internationalist. “I was a bit stiff and sore after 90 minutes last week, and the gaffer’s pulled a masterstroke in keeping me for the latter stages and coming up with the winner!”
The real praise was saved for the man he replaced, Belmokhtar. “Different class,” raved Beattie. “He’s been in training and there’s flashes of absolute brilliance in there. You can’t get near him, the way he moves his body and manoeuvres the ball. I don’t want to compare him to anybody, but he is at times, unplayable.”
Clyde: Currie, Breslin, Stewart, McNiff, Munro, Cuddihy, Burbidge (Ferguson 83), Wright (Duffie 75), Nicoll, Goodwillie, Lamont (Osalodor 54)
Edinburgh City: Antell, Caddow, Laird, Thomson, Belmokhtar (Beattie 85), Grimes (Malin 70), Rodger, Dunn, Blake (Smith 88), Morrison, Mackie
Referee: Steven Reid