Given it ended with a clean sheet, a welcome three points and their biggest win of the season, Pat Scullion’s Edinburgh City debut against former club Berwick Rangers on Tuesday couldn’t have gone any better.
The 31-year-old signed on New Year’s Day having left The Wee Rangers not long beforehand, and slotted in on the right of a back three as City recorded their first win under James McDonaugh, taking them three points clear of tomorrow’s opponents Cowdenbeath.
It was an ideal start for Scullion, who was on the end of some tongue-in-cheek booing from the travelling Shielfield faithful. “I got a few pelters, obviously,” he smiled. “I moved to Berwick last year under John Coughlin and I really enjoyed my time there. There’s loads of good people at the club.
“I had a little girl in September and the travelling from work getting to and from training wasn’t great for my home life, so I got away from Berwick. Out of the blue, Edinburgh City contacted me to say they were struggling for defenders and could I come on board for a few months and see how it goes? I was more than happy to do that and, if I play well and enjoy it, you never know what it might lead to.”
Scullion is familiar enough with City so as not to be joining a totally alien set of team-mates, having played against them often enough, and going further back, with them as well. “I left Berwick a couple of weeks ago and got a phone call from Craig Beattie who I know from when I was at Celtic in my younger days,” he explained.
“He asked me to come in and train and I enjoyed it; the pitch was a bit frosty but it was a good session and it’s handy as I’m only about 25 minutes away from training. I was asked by the manager if I was interested in signing so it was all done really quickly, although obviously I was unattached.
“I know a few of the boys having just played against them. I played against Marc Laird when I was younger – I mean really young! I wasn’t coming in to a strange dressing-room so it’s been quite an easy transition. Obviously, playing with Craig on Tuesday wasn’t unfamiliar, albeit he did used to play much further forward!
“It’s funny the things football throws up. I was captain at Berwick for the last year or so and then my first game is against them having been away for a week or two. The fans were great to me when I was down there and I’ve nothing but positive things to say about the club.”
While Tuesday’s win was important, Scullion acknowledged there’s plenty more work to be done if City are to pull clear of the bottom.
“That’s takes us on to 12 points now so obviously at the halfway stage it’s not a huge return,” he admitted. “We just have to get as many on the board as we can and see where it takes us.”
Victory at Central Park tomorrow would take them further away from Cowden and potentially further up the table. While it could be described as a six pointer, Scullion was keen not too attach too much significance at this stage of the season.
“You can only get three points from a win so it’ll be what it’ll be,” he assessed. “There’s still a lot of football to be played. To win would be nice but you can’t throw too much pressure on one game. It would certainly be good to go there and get a positive result, though.
“Cowden drew on Tuesday and I’d seen them play a couple of weeks ago and they look like they’re playing well. They’ll be believing their fortunes can turn as well, just like we do.”
That said, going into such a big game off the back of a 3-0 win will have put City in a more confident frame of mind.
“A 3-0 win at home, albeit under a bit of pressure at times, can only be good,” he said. “We defended well and sometimes getting clean sheets can be the most important thing. You always start with a point and it ensures that’s the least you’ll get, so the more of those we can get, the better it’ll be.”