How Allan Smith forged his own path with Edinburgh City

Allan Smith, right, takes on James Grant of Queen's Park
Allan Smith, right, takes on James Grant of Queen's Park
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Patience is a virtue as far as Edinburgh City’s Allan Smith is concerned.

The winger, who joined from Ladbrokes League Two rivals Peterhead in the summer, struggled to make much of an impact during the first few days and weeks at Ainslie Park.

A combination of injury and City’s 12-match unbeaten run, limited the 24-year-old’s involvement to just a handful of substitute appearances.

However, afforded his chance from the start by manager James McDonaugh in the 1-0 William Hill Scottish Cup second-round win over Lowland League and Capital rivals Civil Service Strollers in October, Smith has started every game since. He will be looking to keep that run going when City visit Central Park where hosts Cowdenbeath await.

“It’s been great these past couple of months,” Smith explained. “Since coming into part-time football this is the most consistent run of games I’ve had. Last season I was in and out the team at Peterhead which was frustrating, so this is the best I’ve felt in my career. I’m really enjoying it, everything is going well at the club so I couldn’t really ask for much more. It was a bit frustrating at the start but I had picked up an injury and the team were playing so well.

“I don’t think people realise how much it affects you if you get on with the people you are playing with. It’s not a coincidence how well we’re doing. We all get on.”

Last weekend’s 4-1 victory over Elgin – one of only two sides to inflict defeat on City this season in Scotland’s fourth tier – opened up a five-point gap on nearest challengers Peterhead, who were left idle due to the wintry weather.

“There was a bit of revenge in our mindset from the match with Elgin at the start of the season,” Smith admitted. “We went up there for the second game of the season and the pitch was a disaster. [Stones had come through the bare grass because of the long dry spell]. It was also in our minds that we hadn’t beaten Elgin before.

“We got the job done. We deserved to win.

“We’re the team that has got the points on the board so Peterhead still need to go and get them. I was obviously at Peterhead last year and it was the same situation with Montrose where they kept winning and we were the team playing catch up. You always prefer to be top of the league and have the points on the board and not have matches in hand.

“But we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves. We’ve still got two more matches to play before the halfway point so there’s that to bear in mind.

“Hopefully we can pick up another two wins and what a first half of the season it would be. But nothing is won in December. The good thing is we’ve still got the likes of Josh Walker and Danny Handling to come back from injury too.

“I want to keep contributing as much as I can. I wan to hit double figures. I’ve got four goals already so that’s my target. We’ll see how it goes.”

Tomorrow’s opponents, Cowdenbeath, are a transformed club this season and are just three points off a promotional play-off spot.

“Cowdenbeath have got some really good individuals in their side. They have improved a lot this season and I don’t think their league position really does them justice. They’ve had some decent results themselves already and are hard to break down.

“But we can go there in confident mood and look to come away with another three points,” Smith added.