Edinburgh City boss pondering big changes for next term

James McDonaugh wants to do better than ninth. Pic: Greg Macvean
James McDonaugh wants to do better than ninth. Pic: Greg Macvean
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James McDonaugh is already thinking about the make-up of next season’s Edinburgh City squad after they went down 3-1 at home to Clyde.

David Goodwillie’s brace and a Dylan Cogill goal had the visitors three up before Craig Beattie’s consolation penalty.

With City safe from relegation, McDonaugh is now planning on bringing in sufficient quality to ensure City aren’t in another relegation scrap next term. “I’ve been honest with the players and said we can talk about games, but a couple of months ago in February I wondered if this group could maybe take us to the play-offs next season,” he said.

“All they’ve kind of done since then is made me think I need to change things. It’s two fold – you need to congratulate the players for keeping the club in the league and that’s an achievement in itself.

“However, if you want to do better and not just fight for ninth place next season, then I think we need to start again.

“That’s difficult though. I’m still adjusting to part-time football in terms of we didn’t know what league we were going to be in until last week. It’s only then that you can start to look towards next season.

“Even now, where I’d think ‘I’ll maybe keep that one or change that one’, we need to freshen it up. Edinburgh City don’t have a lot of fans, but the ones they do have support their team like the Old Firm fans do. It still means a lot to them and I think we owe them to not just battle to avoid the bottom and take a chance.”

Calum Antell was the first of either goalkeeper to be called into action, tipping Jack Boyle’s effort round his near post to prevent it finding the top corner.

The Welshman’s next stop was far more taxing, showing good reactions and a strong hand to divert Mark Lamont’s stinging volley away from goal.

Lewis McLear then did well to pull a high ball out of the air, turn and volley but it bounced wide of Blair Currie’s far post.

The first goal came ten minutes before the break. Referee Grant Irvine ruled Jack Boyle had been bundled over in the area, and Goodwillie nonchalantly stroked it past Antell to give the visitors the lead.

A dipping volley from Boyle on the stroke of half-time proved awkward for Antell, but City were able to clear to ensure they went in at the break just one down.

A nightmare start to the second half did see The Bully Wee’s advantage doubled. Goodwillie was played in and sent a precise finish across Antell into the far corner less than a minute after the restart.

It was game over with 25 minutes to go when Cogill wasn’t picked up from Chris McStay’s corner and volleyed in from close range.

City were then awarded a penalty of their own when Calum Hall’s cross struck a hand, and Beattie mimicked Goodwillie’s spot kick in sending Currie the wrong way for 3-1.

The hosts were claiming for another one when they felt Farid El Alagui was impeded when trying to get on the end of Craig Thomson’s angled ball over the top, but Irvine was unmoved.

Beattie almost got City right back in it when he controlled Marc Laird’s overhead kick and stabbed goal-ward, but Currie reacted well to save.

El Alagui nearly set up an interesting finish when he charged down Currie’s attempted clearance, which cannoned off him but bounced just wide of the empty net.

Edinburgh City: Antell, Shiels, Laird, Thomson, McLear (El Alagui 60), Beattie, Grimes (El Alagui 60), Rodger, Taylor, Dunn, Morrison.

Clyde: Currie, Duffie, Stewart, McNiff, Cogill, Grant, Boyle (Cuddihy 87), Nicoll, Goodwillie, McStay, Lamont (Love 79).

Referee: Grant Irvine

Attendance: 408