Edinburgh City manager James McDonaugh said his team displayed “primary school” defending during Saturday’s 4-0 defeat by Queen of the South.
All four goals in the Betfred Cup Group G fixture came in a 17-minute first-half blitz via Lyndon Dykes and a Steven Dobbie double either side of Josh Todd’s header.
“It was a lot like the other night at Motherwell, but I think the goals we lost compared to then were worse,” said McDonaugh. “Queen of the South are a good team, don’t get me wrong, but from our point of view the goals we lost were basic, primary school stuff.
“The first two were just long balls in behind and too easy. There were loads of good bits in the game and we have good centre halves, but they need to concentrate.
“We need to remember where we are. A lot of people get excited because we’ve signed good players and automatically think that you’re going to achieve overnight success. That’s not going to happen – we need to keep grounded.
“Luckily we won’t be playing against quality, full-time players every week but we need to be better than that.”
Queens almost took the lead in bizarre circumstances as Conrad Balatoni’s attempted diving headed clearance didn’t go in the direction he intended, and Calum Antell just managed to scramble it off the line.
City’s first attempt came after 22 minutes when Allan Smith won possession and drove down the right, but sliced his shot wide of Alan Martin’s near post.
The visitors responded by taking the lead immediately. Callum Fordyce’s ball over the top was well controlled by Dykes, who cooly lobbed over the on-rushing Antell.
It was 2-0 within minutes and in almost identical fashion. This time Martin kicked long from hand to put Dobbie in behind, who clipped past Antell to add to the hat-trick in his previous outing.
It was 3-0 and game over ten minutes before the interval. Jordan Marshall’s delivery from the left picked out Todd at the back post, who completed the simple task of nodding home from close range.
It was becoming something of a collapse from City as the half wore on as Dobbie netted his second and Queens’ fourth with a tap in from Todd’s square ball across goal.
McDonaugh’s side almost pulled one back just before the break when Craig Thomson picked out Blair Henderson, who was unfortunate to see Martin get down well and palm his header away.
A pedestrian second half ambled along without either team doing much of note, Queens happy with their work up until that point while City tightened up. A wild effort from Allan Smith was about the sum of the attempts on either goal.
Dykes almost made it 5-0 late on when Michael Doyle found him with an excellent delivery, but Antell was down well to produce a great stop and deny the striker his second of the game.
Dobbie had the ball in the net for his hat-trick in stoppage time, but referee Craig Napier adjudged Antell to have been in possession of the ball before the striker forced it loose and tapped home.
It should be acknowledged that City were low on numbers, and McDonaugh is hopeful of adding to his squad. “Aside from the young boys, we’ve only really got eleven available outfield players,” he explained. “The ten that started then Danny Handling came on. We’ll maybe be able to add another one but numbers wise we won’t get through the season with the group available now.”
Edinburgh City: Antell, Thomson, McIntyre, Balatoni, Laird, Smith, Henderson (Lumsden 90), Taylor, Rodger, Donaldson, Hall (Handling 69).
Queen of the South: Martin, Mercer, Marshall (Jacobs 45), Fordyce, Doyle, Stirling (Murray 65), Todd, Dobbie, Semple, Harkins (Bell 75), Dykes.
Referee: Craig Napier.