Josh Campbell stunner seals Edinburgh City's place in League One play-off final
Josh Campbell’s stunning 88th-minute strike saw Edinburgh City through to the League One play-off final after a dramatic 3-2 aggregate victory over Elgin City.
A pulsating tie at Ainslie Park saw the hosts twice come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw against the Moray club, who thought they had done enough to send the tie into extra time.
On-loan Hibs attacker Campbell was the matchwinner in Saturday’s first leg at Borough Briggs and the 21-year-old again produced the goods in the dying embers of the match with a scintillating 25-yard effort that sparked wild celebrations in the City ranks, while Easter Road boss Jack Ross and number two John Potter watched on from the stand.
The Citizens are now just two games from earning promotion to Scottish football’s third tier and will now face Dumbarton, the first leg taking place in the Capital on Monday before a trip to the Rock three days later.
The visitors levelled the tie after 22 minutes when Russell Dingwall’s corner from the left was met by Darryl McHardy whose powerful header flew past Calum Antell.
But City were level just minutes later, skipper Craig Thomson’s cross ricocheting off defender Steven Bronsky, and Danny Handling pivoted to send a low-driven shot into the bottom corner.
City’s tails were up. Ouzy See burst through the heart of the Elgin defence, bringing out a fine stop from Thomas McHale before Callum Crane’s piercing drive across goal had McHale stretching to turn his effort around the post.
However, the hosts were dealt a sucker punch two minutes before the interval and it again arrived from a corner. Archie MacPhee provided the assist from the left and there was McHardy to head in for a second time.
The heavens opened in the second half which made for testing conditions. Liam Brown was at the heart of everything City threw at their opponents but the Elgin defence stood firm only for Campbell to pounce late on.
Edinburgh City: Antell, Thomson, McIntyre, Hamilton, Crane (Balatoni 85), Jardine, Brown, Handling, Black (Dishington 77), Campbell, See. Subs: Goodfellow, Henderson, Denham, De Vita, Harris.
Elgin City: McHale, Cooper, Spark, McHardy, Bronsky, MacEwan (Brown 61), Dingwall, Cameron, Hester, MacPhee (Peters 79), O’Keefe (Sopel 77). Subs: Wilson, Mailer, Osadolor, Kelly.