Hibs loanee makes immediate impact as Edinburgh City earn crucial win over Elgin
The former Hibs midfielder struck straight from kick-off to give the hosts the lead before quickly doubling the advantage in a whirlwind start from Gary Naysmith’s men that the visitors were unable to recover from.
Both goals were set-up by City’s new signing, Innes Murray, whose arrival on loan from Hibs was announced only a few hours before kick-off.
The 23-year-old midfielder, now in his fourth loan move from Easter Road following spells at Alloa, Airdrie and Stenhousemuir, made an immediate impact as his through pass teed up Handling to fire past Elgin keeper Thomas McHale after just 18 seconds.
Murray was the provider again on seven minutes as he intercepted possession in the Elgin box before rounding McHale and sending an effort towards the empty net that Handling turned home from close range for his and City’s second to leave the Highlanders shell-shocked.
Kane Hester almost pulled one back for Elgin but shot into the side-netting, before the striker was booked for dissent following a failed penalty claim.
City almost got their third on the hour mark but defender Creag Little blocked James Hilton’s goalbound shot on the line, and Hilton went close again with a low strike that went narrowly wide as the hosts finished strongly.
Naysmith had raised concerns over his injury list prior to the match but his troops contained Elgin well, with the away side failing to register an attempt on target across the 90 minutes.
There was, however, more injury concerns for the City boss to contend with as Lewis Toshney limped off after just 13 minutes before Daniel Jardine was forced off the park with 20 minutes remaining.
Edinburgh went into the match languishing near the foot of the League Two table after three defeats from their opening four fixtures.
The much-needed victory moves the Citizens above Elgin into fifth place, four points behind leaders Kelty Hearts who play Stenhousemuir on Saturday.
Edinburgh City: Schwake, Brian, Bronsky, Toshney (Reekie 13), Crane, Jardine (Kane 69), Tapping, Hilton, Murray (Berry 79), Handling, See. Not used: Goodfellow, Farrell, Fraser.