James McDonaugh salutes Edinburgh City's grit at Cowden

Edinburgh City boss James McDonaugh praised another determined performance from his team in a matter of days after they recorded a second successive victory with a 2-0 win over bottom club Cowdenbeath.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 8th January 2018, 5:30 am
Pat Scullion celebrates scoring. Pic: www.iangeorgesonphotography.co.uk
Pat Scullion celebrates scoring. Pic: www.iangeorgesonphotography.co.uk

Scott Shepherd’s opener and Pat Scullion’s first goal for the club was enough to put City six points ahead of their opponents and above Clyde in eighth position in the Ladbrokes League Two table.

“Again, we’ve shown a lot of character, fight and determination,” said McDonaugh. “Cowdenbeath had more of the ball but I thought we were clinical with the chances we got. Even for all the possession they had, our goalie’s not really had a save to make.

“The first half was kind of even but we were looking capable of scoring. The big thing for me is that over the last number of weeks we’ve played good football and got nothing for it. The last two games we’ve shown immense character and desire for a team that’s at the wrong end of the table.

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“I’m delighted for the players because [they produced] another clean sheet as well in back-to-back games that were vital.”

McDonaugh is keen to keep looking up the table having established something of a cushion between themselves and Cowden at the foot of the league, but acknowledged this result has decided nothing. “There’s far too many games to go,” he insisted. “If I was Gary Bollan I’d be saying there’s been nothing won or lost today, absolutely.

“I’ve just tried to keep the players staying positive. It’s easy to lose them or them losing me. For the last couple of months we’ve been trying to stay on the same page and believe things were going to turn. This week, things have turned for us.

“We’re not the biggest club in Edinburgh but we’re a growing club and we want to stay in this league. Today we’ve got a result that means we can start to look at the teams above us now.”

City’s fist attack almost brought an opener. Calum Hall fed Ashley Grimes in the channel, who in turn picked out Shepherd in the box, but the on-loan Falkirk man scuffed his shot across David McGurn’s goalmouth.

Shepherd again had a sight of goal after some tenacious play by Hall on the right. The No. 19 took the teenager’s cross on his chest but he couldn’t keep his volley down.

It was third time lucky for Shepherd when he gave City the lead seven minutes before the break. Grimes’ initial attempt from a Hall cross was blocked but ran invitingly for Shepherd and he swept home his third goal in two games.

Things became even better for McDonaugh’s team five minutes later. Grimes’ free-kick delivery fell to Scullion after Shaun Harrison’s aerial challenge, and the big defender produced an instinctive finish to find the far corner and double the advantage.

“Those that watch Cowdenbeath will remember I did play up front a few times,” Scullion recalled. “It came to me really quickly but I’ve managed to make good contact to find the net.”

The comfortable manner in which City were able to manage the second half pleased McDonaugh. “Sometimes you can panic a bit when you drop deeper, but we looked comfortable and composed,” he assessed. “We defended well, especially across the back three.

“I was pleased with us off the ball. I’ve always been a coach – probably because I’ve worked at youth level where the results don’t really matter – that loves to play good football. I’m not saying we didn’t do that today but we showed the other side of the game.”

Cowdenbeath: McGurn, McInally, Swann, Pyper, Rumsby, Miller, Muillen, Fotheringham (Garden 45), Muirhead (Connelly 67), Smith, Whitaker (Syme 88).

Edinburgh City: Antell, Hall (Caddow 88), Scullion, Garcia Tena, Beattie (Harrison 9), Henderson, Grimes, (Blues 65) Walker, Laird, El Alagui, Shepherd.

Referee: Lloyd Wilson

Attendance: 365