Edinburgh City’s Frazer Paterson wants to demonstrate that their early season win over Spartans wasn’t a one-off when the sides meet in their League Cup Qualifying tie tomorrow.
That the leader’s remain unbeaten in the Lowland League and have a healthy ten-point gap over their Edinburgh rivals would be evidence enough for most that beating Spartans was no fluke, but Paterson is keen that City put in a strong performance regardless.
“I don’t know if I would go as far to say it was a smash and grab at the start of the season,” said the central defender. “The second half of that match we kind of sat in and defended our lead after scoring a couple of goals early in the game. Hopefully, we can go there and prove it wasn’t a fluke. We want to win the game but maybe put in a better performance than we did at the start of the season.”
The Meadowbank club were handed a boost last weekend as Preston Athletic’s shock win at Ainslie Park meant City’s position at the top of the table was strengthened without them kicking a ball. There’s now a break in league fixtures until January, but Paterson isn’t sure if that’ll be a help or a hindrance for Gary Jardine’s side.
“We didn’t really expect Preston to get much from the game given their position in the league, but obviously it was pleasing for who I’d say are our main contenders to be dropping more points.
“We’ve got quite a big squad, so the League Cup is maybe an opportunity for some boys who haven’t been playing to get a run out. I’ve not played much myself since the Brora game because I was at a stag do and a wedding, so hopefully it’s a chance for me to get back in.
“I don’t know if it’s good or bad to be having a break from the league. We’re on good form and I don’t know how many games we’ve won in a row, but we want to keep it going. Spartans and Whitehill are two of the better teams in the league and have been for a number of years, so it’s a difficult section.
From a Spartans perspective, tomorrow’s derby presents an opportunity to bounce back from defeat last weekend, and Gary Cennerazzo hopes a win for the home side can sew some seeds of doubt in City minds in time for the return to league business in January.
“It’s a massive game, especially being against Edinburgh City,” said the left-back. “They’re going really well this season and it was a really bad result for us on Saturday, so we’re desperate to put that right. They’ll be full of confidence and rightly so – we’ll have to up our game to win. I know it’s the League Cup, but we want to try and dent their confidence a wee bit and bring to a halt their unbeaten run.
“The number one priority is always going to be the league but we’re making that very hard just now. No matter what we’ll still be focussing on all competitions and this is one we’re looking to and hopefully win.
Cennerazzo will be lining up against some former team-mates tomorrow, having had a spell with City before re-joining Spartans and he admits its a fixture he always looks forward to.
“It’s good to play against some of the guys who were there before. I made good friends and enjoyed my time at City, even though I was only there for a year and I thank them for that. There’s always a wee bit extra spice so I look forward to it. Hopefully I can get one over on them but they’ll be thinking the same! It’s a big game.”