At times it has been a long, hard slog. However, on Saturday, Edinburgh City finally registered their first point as an SPFL League Two club.
Ross Allum’s astute finish with just six minutes remaining at Forthbank ensured Gary Jardine’s men returned to the Capital with something for their endeavours.
The league’s newcomers were on course for their tenth consecutive defeat in all competitions since July 20, Stirling Albion captain Ross McMillan having headed his side into a 55th minute lead.
However, Allum’s intervention, a sweetly struck half-volley following substitute Dougie Gair’s cross, saw City’s players and management breathe a huge sigh of relief at full-time.
“Prior to Saturday’s match we’d been beaten nine games in a row including league and cup. Last weekend’s performance against Berwick was fantastic, we were the better team and to have still lost was very hard to take,” Jardine explained. “So to come here and take a point says a lot about their character and togetherness.
“It’s great to have a point but we’ll see how that fares further down the line. I’d been looking at the leagues up and down the country, Scotland and England, and there wasn’t anyone else sitting without a point so we’re delighted to finally get off the mark.
“When you’re beaten so often, it’s hard to take on board what the manager says to you. They’ve made one mistake, a bad pass and a free-kick with which Stirling have scored from but we’re not going to dwell on it, we’ll look at the positives.
“To come back after having so many defeats is fantastic.”
Albion really should have opening the scoring inside five minutes when Isaac Layne got in the way of team-mate Eddie Ferns, who was better positioned, to head over goalkeeper Callum Antell’s crossbar.
Layne again was given a prime opportunity inside the City penalty box as the hosts were fast out of the blocks but scooped his shot over following Ferns’ surging run down the right.
However, the visitors rallied after Layne’s profligacy in front of goal and started to knock the ball around on the immaculate surface with some purpose.
City’s response almost brought about the opener as John Dunn’s terrific cross from the left picked out the unmarked Dean Cummings and Albion’s Chris Smith had to be at full stretch to turn the midfielder’s goal-bound header around the post.
Aaron Dunsmore found himself in the unfamiliar position deep inside the Albion penalty area but his flash ball across goal couldn’t be turned home by a team-mate.
It really wasn’t Albion striker Layne’s day as he somehow failed to beat Antell from six yards seven minutes after the restart – although, to his credit, it took a terrific reaction stop from the former Hibs goalkeeper to keep the score level.
However, three minutes later the home side had their noses in front. Joe Mbu was adjudged to have impeded Layne and from the resulting free-kick, McMillan stole a couple of yards on his marker to glance home Ferns’ delivery.
But, City finally got what they deserved with time edging away when Gair found space on the left following Craig Beattie’s pass and the captain’s cross was expertly turned back across goal and into the far corner for what was Allum’s first goal of the season.
Stirling Albion: Smith, McGeachie, McMillan, McKenzie, Layne (Mazel 63), Henderson, D Smith (Morrison 71), Ferns, Davidson, Dickson, Forsyth (Docherty 78). Subs: Binnie, R Smith, Verlaque, Mills.
Edinburgh City: Antell, Caddow, Dunsmore (See 78), Mbu, Porteous, McKee, McFarland (Gair 61), Cummings, Allum, Dunn, McConnell (Beattie 78). Subs: Stobie, MacDonald, Muhsin, Donaldson.
Referee: Colin Steven.