Edinburgh City continue to set the pace at the top of the Lowland League after a scrappy 1-0 over Edinburgh University at Meadowbank.
A second-half Peter Stenhouse strike was enough to give the league leaders all three points in a match that was low on quality from both teams.
City boss Gary Jardine however was pleased with his side’s ability to grind out the result: “That wasn’t pretty at all for anybody” he said. “That’s a game in previous seasons we definitely wouldn’t have won. If we’re going to be able to put in a challenge for the league this season then that’s the kind of game we need to pick three points up in.”
The first effort on goal came after nine minutes when Gordon Donaldson’s attempt from the edge of the area was easily plucked out the air by Uni ’keeper Asher Tufail. Mark McConnell was next to try his luck on 21 minutes following a clever short corner routine but again Tufail was able to gather at the second attempt.
New City signing Ortega Deniran could only force the ball wide after connecting with Ian McFarland’s 28th minute driven cross from the right. The striker spurned an even better chance six minutes later after taking a long ball on his chest, only to guide the ball into the ‘keeper’s arms.
Deniran was again wasteful on 34 minutes. Mark Osborne’s low shot produced a smart save from Tufail but rebounded to City’s No.9, who lost his balance and scooped the ball over when it seemed a simple finish.
The second period went much the same way as the first with little goalmouth action. Uni made more of in impression by forcing a series of corners. Substitute Dan Ward rose to meet two of them in a four-minute spell of pressure, but couldn’t keep either on target.
The breakthrough came with 20 minutes remaining. Stenhouse, who had replaced Denrian at half-time, pounced on an error by Hamish Flett and kept his composure to stroke the ball through Tufail’s legs to give the match a much needed goal.
The hosts seemed to get a lift from the opener and Jordan Caddow’s back post header went narrowly over after he met Nico Gibson’s 75th minute cross.
Stenhouse had the chance to double his tally for the afternoon with 12 minutes remaining. The No.15 showed good control to collect McFarland’s ball over the top but blazed the ball over from an acute angle.
The same player fashioned an even better chance for himself with seven minutes left on the clock. He bundled his way past several challenges but with only Tufail to beat, couldn’t replicate the calm finish he produced for his earlier goal and his wild effort flew well wide.
The Meadowbank side smartly retained possession for the remaining few minutes to see out the game and claim another victory that keeps them four points clear of second-placed Spartans.
Edinburgh University boss Dorian Ogunro was far from pleased with the manner in which his side conceded: “We threw it away. It’s as simple as that. It’s been in-keeping with our results this season – it’s not an accident. If you keep playing well but making silly mistakes then the only team that can take responsibility for that is us.”
Edinburgh City: Stobie, Caddow, Donaldson, McKee, Paterson, MacDonald, McFarland, Gair, Deniran (Stenhouse 45), McConnell, Osborne (Gibson 69).
Edinburgh University: Tufail, MacFarlane, Sutherland, Flett, Black, Daniels-Yeoman, Willaghan, Rawlinson (Ward 26), Oswald (Guthrie 73), Nikolaidis, Paterson (Frain 80).