As timing goes, Derek Riordan and Lewis Allan’s first Edinburgh City goals were perfect as Gary Jardine’s team came from behind to win 2-1 at Ladbrokes League Two leaders Forfar.
Jim Lister’s header on the stroke of half-time gave Garry Bollan’s side a deserved lead, but it was a more positive City that emerged after the break to claim a victory that was as important as it was impressive.
Three points lifted the Meadowbank club above Clyde into eighth, but perhaps more significantly, maintained a seven point cushion over bottom club Cowdenbeath, who themselves won at Berwick in new manager Gary Locke’s first game in charge.
The introduction of Dougie Gair and especially on-loan Hibs striker Allan at half-time gave City a lift. The leveller came when Allan broke free down the right and cut back for Riordan. The frontman showed exactly why Gary Jardine brought him in, firing a first-time shot high past Bryn Halliwell into the roof of the net.
“It’s brilliant, there’s no better feeling,” said Riordan after opening his account. “Especially for me, I’ve not played since the end of last season basically. I think my last goal was when I was at East Fife.
“It was one of those horrible chances. I waited ages for it to come to me then I just tried to get that whip on it. Normally it bobbles or whatever, even on astroturf where you wouldn’t expect it to so I’m not a fan of astro, but anyway we got the goal and a good result.
“As I’ve said, it’s just great to be getting out on a Saturday – sitting watching Soccer Saturday gets depressing. Getting out, being with the boys and trying to get us up the league, it’s enjoyable.
“I’m here to do the best I can and hopefully it’s a stepping stone for me and I get myself back in the shop window. People might think I’m not wanting to play, but I’ve just not had the chance to get in. City have given me that chance and I’m delighted.”
The same ‘made at Easter Road’ combination won it for the visitors, and in some style. Allan picked up Riordan’s flick-on wide left before driving down the line. He cut inside on to his right before sending a brilliant curling effort over a helpless Halliwell.
“I’ve not had many chances so it’s been quite frustrating playing up front on my own,” said Allan. “We went for it so I’m delighted, and hopefully that’s the first of many.”
He also drew praise from his fellow goalscorer, who has produced similar himself over the years. “Wee Lewis’ goal was a beauty,” raved Riordan. “He was there when I was training at Hibs and was out after a serious operation, so I’m delighted for him. What a goal it was – he must’ve been watching me in training!”
The importance of matching Cowden’s result wasn’t lost on a beaming Jardine. “A lot was made of our victory over them, but seven points at this level is nothing,” he cautioned. “The five or six teams that have been bottom since October, once they’ve got that win they’ve put a few together. I felt if Cowdenbeath got that then they’d get some momentum. We’ve got ten games to play and will need to take our fair share of points from them.
“We’ve spent a long time trying to get to where we are and we’re not going to throw it away lightly. We’ll fight to the end to stay in the league, and if we can do that then we can maybe build.”
Forfar Athletic: Halliwell (T), Bain, McLaughlin, Travis, Malcolm, O’Brien, Fotheringham (Scott 84), Malone (Milne 87), Cox, Lister (Peters 80), Denholm
Edinburgh City: Stobie, Caddow, Donaldson, Mbu, Walker (Allan 45), McKee (Gair 45), McConnell (Guthrie 74), Cummings, Beattie, Riordan, Dunn
Referee: Mike Roncone