Edinburgh City boss praises young players’ performance

James McDonaugh is looking for improvement next season
James McDonaugh is looking for improvement next season
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James McDonaugh felt a young Edinburgh City team did well in their final-day 2-1 defeat at Peterhead.

An early Pat Scullion own goal gave an early lead to the Blue Toon, who had to win and hope Montrose lost against Elgin to snatch the Ladbrokes League Two title.

Gareth Rodger’s late equaliser looked to have salvaged what McDonaugh felt would have been a deserved point, only for Scott Brown’s stoppage-time header to win it for Jim McInally’s side, who will go in to the play-offs after Montrose got the point they needed.

City finish the campaign in ninth and, while happy at achieving what they set out to when he took the job back in October, McDonaugh isn’t overly disappointed to see the season draw to a close.

“We started the game poorly by conceding early and then for long spells it was eeksie-peeksie,” he reflected.

“They were the better team in the first half but second half it was nip and tuck. They maybe had better chances, half chances really.

“When you consider we had three young boys on the bench that came on and made their debut – and boys like Calum Hall starting who’s waited on his chance – it was makeshift team. Our midfield three was [Craig] Thomson, [Lewis] McLear and Hall as we were without [Josh] Walker, [Marc] Laird and [Cameron] Blues.

“I thought the boys did quite well in that respect when we were missing six or seven of our main players.

“I’m delighted for the young boys. Jordan Smith, Luke Kennedy and Mikey Barfoot getting their debuts means that’s six teenagers have done that now, which is a credit for the club, but it’s probably good to get the season over with.

“It ended with a defeat, but we didn’t disgrace ourselves and it was a far more positive ending that it was last week.”

With his first season of management now behind him, McDonaugh feels it’s been mainly positive.

“Hopefully, in hindsight it’s a right good experience,” he said. “When I was offered the job it was one I had to think about carefully, because you know your reputation isn’t a bad one and if you go in and make a mess of it then everything can go downhill.

“I think we’ve come in and done the job we were asked to do and now we look to see what we can do going forward.

“It’s been hard, but we’ve shown since the turn of the year we’re more than capable.”