Gary Naysmith bemoans hard night as Edinburgh City are well beaten at Ayr United

Edinburgh City’s hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Premier Sports Cup look all but over after a 3-0 defeat to Ayr United.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 12:13 am
Edinburgh City manager Gary Naysmith was disappointed with his team's performance
Edinburgh City manager Gary Naysmith was disappointed with his team's performance

A Tomi Adeloye brace, either side of half-time, and an Andrew Murdoch close-range finish at Somerset Park, ensures City remain bottom of Group E without a point to their name.

Boss Gary Naysmith made one enforced change to the side that were edged out 1-0 by Hamilton Accies in Friday night's group opener, Lee Hamilton replacing the injured Stephen Bronsky.

New signings Chris Kane and Lewis Toshney were listed among the substitutes.

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The hosts flew out of the traps with Cameron Salkeld spurning a gilt-edged chance within the first 30 seconds, the striker finding himself through on goal only to be foiled by Ryan Goodfellow in the City goal.

The hosts enjoyed the majority of the possession, but the Citizens came agonisingly close to grabbing the lead in the 33rd minute.

Seventeen-year-old Alex Ferguson, on loan from St Johnstone, picked up loose possession 20 yards from goal and managed to find some space for a shot that fizzed inches over the crossbar.

But it was Ayr who deservedly got their noses in front eight minutes before the interval, following Goodfellow's save from a Patrick Reading effort.

Reading took the resulting corner and the lively Adeloye spun away from his marker to head across goal and into the bottom corner.

The hosts doubled their advantage four minutes after the restart and it was that man Adeloye again, who was gifted a simple tap-in following Mark McKenzie's assist.

The Capital outfit almost reduced the arrears on the hour mark.

Callum Tapping’s sumptuous cross-field pass was inch perfect for Michael McFarlane, and from the second-half substitute’s delivery, James Hilton showed terrific close control before sending a curling effort towards the far corner that had to be diverted out for a corner by Sean McGinty.

Salkeld went close to a third for David Hopkin’s men, drawing a smart stop from Goodfellow, who turned his effort around the post.

To their credit, City kept plugging away and Lewis Kidd saw his 25-yard free-kick come back off United goalkeeper Charlie Albinson's right-hand post.

However, Murdoch sealed a comfortable victory for the Ayrshire club with a third six minutes from time.

Naysmith said afterwards: “It was a hard night. We didn't start particularly well as they had a chance inside the first minute and we were too deep and passive for my liking.

“Their second goal knocked the stuffing out of us and then it was quite comfortable for Ayr.

“I need to go back and watch the game again to make sure I know what I need to correct. They just seemed to have a lot of time and space.

“I wanted us to make more of an impression on these Championship clubs so I am looking for more. We have to improve, it's still early days but we need to use the next two games to get us ready for the league campaign starting.”

Ayr United: Albinson, Houston, Reading, Muirhead, McGinty, Baird (Ecrepont 84), Salkeld (Smith 85), Murdoch, Adeloye (Miller 70), Hewitt, McKenzie. Subs: McAdams, Bilham, Jeanes.

Edinburgh City: Goodfellow, McIntyre, Jardine, Reekie, Hilton (Toshney 70), See (Fraser 87), Handling (McFarlane 46), Tapping, Crane, Hamilton (Kane 65), Ferguson (Kidd 46). Sub: Quate.