Edinburgh City striker Ross Allum has hit back at Billy Ogilvie after the East Kilbride manager branded him ‘a diver’ ahead of tomorrow’s Ferrari Packaging Lowland League clash between the teams at Meadowbank at 8.00pm.
Ogilvie also described Allum as “immature” following City’s dramatic extra-time win at K Park in their South Challenge Cup quarter-final last weekend, claiming the player is “unable to just shake hands and walk off” at the end of games. Allum netted the only goal with the last kick of the match, having also been cautioned in the first half for simulation. Ogilvie, set to leave his post later this month due to work commitments, also claimed Allum dived to win a last-minute penalty during City’s 2-1 league win at East Kilbride back in September.
Allum feels that decision – and Ogilvie’s subsequent criticism – was harsh.
“I disagree with some things he’s said. I definitely shook hands with the majority of players that were on the park at the end of the game,” explained Allum. “As for the booking, their centre half actually said to me during the game that he felt it was very soft and that it maybe should have been a free-kick for us. When it’s happening at game speed and they’re over the other side of the park in the dug-out, it’s hard to see, but it’s just one of these things in football.
“I’ll plead my innocence with diving – I don’t intend to dive at all. The one he’s talking about from the last time, again, the defender’s stuck out a leg. It’s one of these things. It’s part of the game that nobody likes and it’s horrible when you get booked for simulation when you don’t believe you have.”
The champions have won five of their last six encounters with tomorrow’s opponents, Allum netting four times, and the frontman believes there’s an element of sour grapes behind Ogilvie’s comments.
“I think it has a bit of that about it. It’s never going to be easy losing a quarter-final with the last kick of extra time,” he said. “I’d hate to imagine how I’d feel or Gary Jardine would feel if that was vice-versa.
“I think we did enough to win the game chances-wise in 90 minutes. They’re well coached and the boy Ogilvie is a good coach – for me they’re one of the best sides in the league along with ourselves. It’s just the way it is.”
Given City’s shoot-out record and Allum having missed two of the three they were awarded at against Spartans at New Year, he was relieved another late strike at K Park meant they weren’t necessary.
“The longer it went, I was dreading penalties,” he admitted. “I know Gary would have wanted me to hit one and I don’t know how I would have felt so I’m just delighted it never got to that stage.”
Allum is expecting round two to be just as close in front of a big crowd, with the game being part of the Lowland League Groundhop UK weekend.
“The last three or four games there’s hardly been any goals between us so that shows you how tight it’s been,” he added.
“It’s going to be a bit different for the boys [kicking off at 8pm] and Gary had a word with us about preparing ourselves right. You’re not used to heading to a game at half six or seven. We’re looking forward to the Groundhog; it was good last year down at Dalbeattie, even though it was the only league game we lost all season. There’s a bit of an atmosphere and it’s good to be part of.”