A FIRST-EVER Edinburgh City SPFL goal from Craig Beattie couldn’t help the Meadowbank club to a maiden three points after going down 3-2 at home to Forfar on Saturday.
David Cox’s penalty and Lewis Milne either side of Beattie’s strike gave Forfar a half-time lead before Jim Lister’s late third rendered Ross Guthrie’s stoppage time effort a consolation. A bad-tempered melee in the Forfar goalmouth saw Joe Mbu and Cox shown straight reds after the final whistle.
The significance of his strike was secondary to Beattie given City ended up pointless. “I’m disappointed to have lost the game first of all,” he said. “For a group of lads to come from where they’ve come from to be disappointed losing to a strong side like Forfar speaks volumes for what we now think we can achieve this year. Later on, I’ll reflect on having been the first player to score in the football league for them and I’ll maybe have a little grin, but that’s what I’m here for.”
Beattie admitted he is feeding off the excitement of his younger team-mates. “Ten o’clock on a Thursday night, I’m walking off trying to box people because they’re not passing it in training – I’m 32 years old, gie’s peace!” he laughed. “The minute I don’t do that is when I hang the boots up. After a long, hard career I could down tools and chuck it, but I’m enthusiastic and I love it.”
Lister had the ball in the net for the Loons inside two minutes, but the assistant’s flag denied him of the first league goal scored at Meadowbank in over two decades.
It almost came in spectacular fashion on five minutes. Gavin Swankie let fly with a left-footed effort than had Calum Antell well beaten, only for the ball to crash back off the bar.
A moment of improvisation from Beattie almost gave City the lead, audaciously attempting to catch Grant Adam off his line from inside his own half, but the worried-looking keeper dealt with it.
Forfar got their penalty after Gordon Donaldson nudged over former City man Danny Denholm in the area. Antell managed to get a hand to Cox’s spot kick, but couldn’t keep it out of the bottom corner.
It wasn’t a decision City boss Gary Jardine agreed with. “I think it was more than a bit soft,” he said. “We’ve asked Gordon to be tougher and I think he covered round really well and got his body in the way and Danny’s gone down. I don’t know if he slipped, but it wasn’t a penalty in my opinion.”
Beattie made history on 20 minutes. The striker outmuscled Murray MacKintosh on the left before driving in to the box, throwing in a couple of step overs and firing low past Adam.
Forfar retook the lead four minutes before the break. Milne was played in behind the City back line by MacKintosh, and was composed in slotting past the onrushing Antell.
Gary Bollan’s side extend their lead with some quick thinking. Thomas O’Brien slid a clever free-kick round the side for Lister, who placed his shot in off the far post.
The hosts set up an interesting finale when Guthrie tucked the ball under Adam. Nico Gibson then saw his shot agonisingly deflected on to the crossbar before the post-whistle confrontation, which Jardine was philosophical about. “Joe feels he’s pushed the guy off and was unlucky to get a red card,” he explained. “We’ll get a look at it but it happens.”
Edinburgh City: Antell, Mbu, Gibson, Harrison, Mushin (Dunn 82), McKee, McFarland (Cummings 75), Caddow, Beattie (Guthrie 77), Donaldson, McConnell.
Forfar Athletic: Adam, MacKintosh, Bain, Munro, Malcolm, O’Brien, Cox, Milne (Scott 74),Lister, Swankie, Denholm.