Edinburgh City set themselves up perfectly for tomorrow’s top-of-the-table showdown with Peterhead by grinding out a 2-1 win away to Annan Athletic.
The Capital outfit looked in control after goals from Conrad Balatoni and Liam Henderson, but the hosts pulled one back through Scott Hooper in 65 minutes and then piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser.
City held firm to remain two points clear of title rivals Peterhead ahead of tomorrow’s mouthwatering clash at Ainslie Park.
Balatoni, who made a vital goal-saving block to deny Kyle Bradley a late equaliser, said: “It was a huge win. When you’re up at the top of the league and trying to keep momentum going, it’s sometimes just about getting three points on the board and not so much about how you play. It wasn’t pretty but we dug in and got our goals from set-plays.”
Balatoni insists the pressure is all on Peterhead ahead of tomorrow’s match. Both sides are in red-hot form but the influential defender reckons the Blue Toon will be wary of the prospect of falling five points adrift.
He said: “The pressure’s all on them. If we win we go five points clear, and if they win we’re only a point behind. So from our perspective it’s not the be all and end all. It would be lovely if we could win. They’ve got to come and get a win to put the pressure back on us but we’re looking forward to it. I think it will be a good game and hopefully there will be a decent crowd there.
“We’re going up against our closest rivals so there’s a bit extra edge to it. We’re both pulling away from Clyde in third place. With the runs both ourselves and Peterhead have been on, we’re probably entitled to feel we should be further clear at the top of the league. It seems to be that both teams have been so good this season that we’ve stopped each other pulling clear. Something’s got to give this week and hopefully it goes in our favour.”
Annan: Mitchell, Hooper, Strapp, Wilson (Wright 62), Sonkur, Bradley, Moxon, Sinnamon (Roberts 89), Smith, Johnston, Wallace.
Edinburgh City: Antell, Thomson, McIntyre (Watson 32), Balatoni, Laird, Smith, B Henderson, Taylor, Rodger, Shepherd, L Henderson.
Referee: John McKendrick.