Edinburgh City will use international break to reboot

Edinburgh City's Craig Beattie can't hide his disappointment as Elgin celebrate their third goal. Pic: ANDREW O'BRIEN
Edinburgh City's Craig Beattie can't hide his disappointment as Elgin celebrate their third goal. Pic: ANDREW O'BRIEN
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Gary Jardine believes this week’s enforced break due to international fixtures is coming at a good time for Edinburgh City after they went down to a fourth successive league defeat, losing 3-0 to Elgin City.

First-half goals from Lewis Strapp and Brian Cameron had Jim Weir’s team well in control at the break and, after City’s Craig Thomson received a red card, Jordan Allan scored a third to ensure a very comfortable afternoon in the Capital for Elgin.

“It’s coming at a good time in terms of us getting back on the training ground to work on a lot of the things that are going wrong,” said the City boss. “At the end of the day though, it’s individual mistakes which is something only the players can eradicate. There’s guys not playing, nipping at the heels of those who are and it’s maybe time for them to get a shot. It was really disappointing in that we’ve worked all week trying to eradicate mistakes. We’d spoken about it, worked on a few things and the players had trained really well. It was really positive and I think we started the game on the front foot. There was plenty belief about us and we were angry that we still hadn’t won a game. We didn’t close the ball down and they’ve scored a great finish from the edge of the box. We changed our shape and got back in it a wee bit, but the second goal is inexcusable from many aspects.”

City survived an early scare when Craig McLeish’s seemingly tame header bounced off the far post, and luckily for the hosts, back into the grateful arms of Calum Antell. The visitors enjoyed most of the early pressure, and it paid off after 20 minutes when on-loan Morton defender Strapp drove infield and curled a fine right-footed effort past Antell into the bottom corner.

City were struggling to make an impression at the top end of the pitch, a Jordan Caddow header that was straight at Mark Waters their only real effort of the opening half-hour.

The Highlanders were well on top and doubled their lead ten minutes before the break when a ball over the top put Cameron in behind and he powered home.

City’s task got even more arduous when they were reduced to ten men with around 20 minutes remaining. Thomson went up for a header with Strapp and sent him to the floor after colliding, prompting referee Scott Lambie to show the former Hearts man a second yellow.

Jardine felt his man was hard done by. “The second one, he’s running forward and there’s no way he can stop,” he said. “The defender’s played the ball and it’s not as if Craig’s tried to tackle him, it’s just a collision. I’m really disappointed with it but it didn’t have a major bearing on the game.”

The Highlanders added to City’s woes with a third when substitute Allan pounced on a slack attempt to usher the ball back to Antell, rounded the keeper and rolled the ball into an empty net.

With the transfer window closing this week, Jardine doesn’t envisage much movement. “At this level you’re not really going to buy someone anyway,” he explained. “When it closes there’s usually free agents about and there’s a couple of guys we’ve had in training that have looked the part. Really, forgetting about bringing anyone else in, we need to work on what we have. There’s good players in there and I think with a bit of fine tuning; we’ll pick points up soon.”

Edinburgh City: Antell, Caddow (Olanrewaju 29), Walker, Laird, Thomson, Beattie, Grimes (Mackie 74), Rodger, I Smith (L Allan 74), Dunn, Morrison.

Elgin City: Waters, Eadie, Stapp, McHardy, Bronsky, McGovern, Reid (S Smith 83), Cameron, McLeish (J Allan 74), Reilly, Dodd (Sutherland 70).