Edinburgh City rewarded for their persistence and patience
Edinburgh City boss James McDonaugh felt his players got their just rewards after Robbie McIntyre’s second-half goal handed them victory over Stirling Albion.
The final outcome didn’t reflect the Capital men’s superiority at Ainslie Park, the hosts striking the woodwork three times inside the opening 45 minutes.
However, their patience was rewarded just three minutes into the second half as Liam Brown picked out the run of Alex Harris, the former Hibs winger ghosting into the box before his cut back was well finished by McIntyre.
The Citizens are now up to fourth in the table and just a point adrift of leaders Cove Rangers, Queen’s Park and Annan. It was also the perfect response to their Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup exit to Stenhousemuir last Tuesday.
“I thought we were good and showed a lot of different sides to our game,” a pleased McDonaugh said afterwards. “I thought we ticked a lot of boxes and played some good football. We were worthy of our three points. We’ve taken six points out of nine in the league so it’s a good return.
The recent goals we’ve scored have been great. We just need to put things together. We’ve won our two league fixtures following the Cove defeat so we’ll try and make it three in a row against Stenhousemuir this weekend.”
City were fast out of the traps but Liam Henderson somehow managed to scoop the ball over from six yards following an in-swinging Craig Thomson corner. Harris then looked to have put the home side ahead just moments later but his well-placed lob hit the top of the crossbar.
Another dangerous Thomson free-kick then saw Conrad Balatoni’s header canon off the post and City must have been fearing the worst when Blair Henderson again headed against the woodwork for the third time in 25 minutes.
The Capital men were almost dealt a sucker punch when Paul Willis headed beyond Calum Antell only for the offside flag to deny the striker.
But City deservedly edged ahead in what proved to be the winner just minutes after the restart as the forward-thinking McIntyre calmly slotted home a flowing move. McDonaugh also reflected on this week’s news that club captain Josh Walker has called time on his playing career due to injury.
“I’ve never seen the best of Josh because he’s struggled with injury the whole time I’ve been here,” McDonaugh said. “He’s played for a lot of clubs and had some good moments but his career is probably six years too short. I feel bad for him but he’s got to think of the good times he’s had. It’s been a sad week for the club. It would be great to give him another role here but it’s always difficult being part time.”
Edinburgh City: Antell, Thomson, McIntyre, Balatoni, L Henderson, Laird, Brown, Crane, Handling (Shepherd 82), Harris (Kane 88), B Henderson (Court 85). Subs: Adamson, Smith, Sinclair, Watson.
Stirling Albion: Currie, Truesdale (Mackin 84), Lowdon, Willis, McGeachie, McLean (Wilson 46), Jardine, Nicoll, Duffy, Docherty, Peters (Hawke 46). Subs: Binnie, Scott, Thomson, Wright,.
Referee: Gavin Ross