In-form Edinburgh City striker Scott Shepherd out to sink Clyde

Scott Shepherd has been in fine form for Edinburgh City
Scott Shepherd has been in fine form for Edinburgh City
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Edinburgh City’s current run of three wins from four games has been helped by striker Scott Shepherd hitting a rich vein of form.

The on-loan Falkirk striker has notched three in his last four. A double against Berwick at New Year was followed by the opener in the 2-0 victory away at bottom of the league Cowdenbeath.

What turned out to be the winner in last Saturday’s 3-2 triumph over Annan made it four goals in four games this month. In addition to his debut strike against Stirling Albion, it made him City’s top league goalscorer this term, although Ashley Grimes still leads the way in all competitions after his first-half brace.

A win at Clyde tomorrow could see City climb above their opponents in the Ladbrokes League Two table and, with two strikers in confident mood, there’s no reason why James McDonaugh’s side can make it two wins from two at Broadwood following September’s dramatic 3-2 victory.

“It’s great to get on the scoresheet because it gives me a lot of confidence going in to the games coming up,” said Shepherd. “I’ve got four in four now which is good.

“Saturday’s goal was very similar to my two goals against Berwick. I just read the bounce after it was played over the top. The defence weren’t expecting me to get there then it was a bit of a mishap from the keeper so I just hit it over him.”

It was the first time Shepherd had partnered Grimes from the start with usual partner Farid El Alagui out through suspension. It’s a combination that definitely paid dividends, and forced Shepherd and City to change the way they played somewhat.

“I had to adapt a wee bit,” he admitted. “I was maybe more going and linking the play and I don’t normally do that a lot, whereas usually Farid does and wins headers. I enjoyed playing with Ashley though – he’s good ability-wise, as is Farid.

“I thought it forced the whole team to pass the ball a bit more, which is always a good thing. I felt on Saturday it was one of the best passing performances we’ve had yet and the gaffer said that as well.

“The concentration maybe went a wee bit later on though. I was a bit worried because when they got the second goal you’re thinking ‘aw here we go again’ but the boys kept their nerve and saw it out. We have to learn from that though and fix it because we can’t give away two goals like that in future.”

There was also a first start for Shepherd’s Falkirk team-mate Cameron Blues in central midfield, and The Bairns’ under-20 captain continues to impress in black and white. “Bluesey’s a good wee player,” said the 21-year-old. “He can get on the ball and make things happen. He’ll work hard for you, getting after people and winning the ball back.”

While one Falkirk friend is making an impact, another departed. Liam Henderson played his last game just a few weeks ago after signing on loan from The Bairns before making it permanent in January.

The opportunity to continue his career in Australia was too good to turn down however, and Shepherd is sad to see him go. “It’s a bit of a weird one, I wasn’t expecting it and he only told me about it last week,” said Shepherd. “Fair play to him though, he’s going and dong what he wants to do.”

Closer to home, three points in Lanarkshire is what’s occupying Shepherd’s mind. With Danny Lennon’s side having beaten league leaders Montrose away from home and free-scoring Peterhead in successive weeks, he’s under no illusions of the difficult task ahead,

“It’ll be a hard game,” he insisted. “They’ve got good players and you only have to look at their last two results to see what they’re capable of. I’ve not actually played against Clyde this season but hopefully we can get a win and overtake them.”

The return fixture at Ainslie Park between the two in December was postponed, so with three games between the two to go, there’s plenty scope for movement for the potential winners. “Those will be massive games,” said Shepherd. “If we could even go and get two wins and a draw, that would do in keeping us ahead.”