Edinburgh City wins are becoming as regular as the 26 bus that services Meadowbank, with Saturday’s 1-0 win – their first at home this season – over Annan making it three on the spin for Gary Jardine’s team.
Ryan Porteous’ late header was enough for all three points, although the winning margin probably should have been greater given the chances City missed.
“Ryan’s been fantastic,” said Jardine of the 17-year-old defender. “It’s far from me to say that he’s got a chance, but since he’s been here he attacks the ball really well and he’s composed on it. I asked him to do a difficult job playing on the left-hand side of the back three and he took it in his stride really well. For what he’s given us since he’s arrived, that’s a real pat on the back for him and the goal will do wonders for his confidence.
“He doesn’t turn 18 until March. I’d seen him play for Hibs Under 20s – he got a half day from school – and I thought ‘that lad can play’. When I asked for him in the summer, Hibs were happy for him to come here and get games in League Two.”
City started confidently, looking like a side who had gone unbeaten in their previous four. Ross Allum, back in the starting XI in place of Craig Beattie, showed good feet in the box, twisting and turning before firing across goal. The striker then connected with a Chris McKee delivery from deep, but got his angles wrong and headed wide of Blair Currie’s goal.
The striker was then inches away from opening the scoring. Ian McFarland charged down an attempted clearance that fell nicely for Allum. He beat the on-rushing Currie, only to see the ball bounce off the far post and away.
Strike partner Oozy See had the ball in the net soon after when he headed home a brilliant searching ball from Porteous, but was flagged offside.
Another good opportunity went begging for City. This time it was Porteous on the end of a Marc Laird free-kick, but the on-loan Hibs defender could only flick the ball wide when anything on target would have gone in.
The second half began in much the same pattern as the first, with Laird and Guthrie seeing efforts blocked. Guthrie’s persistence then kept the ball in on the goal-line before setting up Allum, who’s initial shot was saved by Currie before putting the rebound wide with the keeper grounded.
Annan had upped their game, and Stobie’s first save of the afternoon was a crucial one, pushing Aiden Smith’s close-range volley on to his near post. His second soon after was stunning. Max Wright’s centre found Dave McKenna three yards out with a seemingly easy finish, but Stobie somehow managed to keep out his point-blank effort.
The breakthrough finally came when Laird’s in-swinging corner was met firmly by Porteous, who’s downward headed bounced up and high into the net.
“It was game we really wanted to win as there was a chance we could get off the bottom of the table,” said the centre-back. “I’ve not been involved the last two weeks and the boys have worked really hard, winning the last two games. I’d like to say I get a lot of headers, but I’ll take any I can get. That’s two this season, one for Hibs and one for City.
“It’s completely different playing here from under 20s. It’s very competitive and I enjoy – it brings a different side out of my game and I think that’s going to make me a better player.”
Edinburgh City: Stobie, Mbu, Dunsmore, Harrison, Laird (Gair 86), McKee, McFarland, Porteous, Allum, See (Cummings 69), Guthrie (McConnell 76).
Annan Athletic: Currie, Lucas, Krissian, Sinnamon (Pearson 45), Bronsky, Cuddihy, Omar, Finnie (Wright 45), McKenna, Smith, Ramsay (Dachndwicz 86).
Referee: G Irvine.