McFarland returns with a goal as City oust Lothian

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Ian McFARLAND was on target in his first game after eight months out injured as his ten-man Edinburgh City side beat Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale 3-1 in the preliminary round of the East of Scotland League Cup.

The midfielder broke his leg and ruptured ankle ligaments in a pre-season game last July and only started training six weeks ago but his return to action proved crucial at Meadowbank last night.

Abourahman Njie gave Lothian a 20th-minute lead and five minutes later the visitors had a chance to go further ahead, but Craig Stevenson’s penalty was saved by City goalkeeper Andrew Stobie.

It was to prove a crucial moment as Paul Devlin equalised just after half-time and, although City had defender Shaun Harrison sent off for a needless second yellow card, McFarland then put them ahead from ten yards. Yazid Mejri sealed the win. “In the first half we just never got out of the blocks,” said McFarland. “We were lucky to go in only 1-0 down and we got a bit of a rollicking at half-time. It was a rare goal for me.”

Lothian boss Grant Carnie said: “We can’t seem to kill teams off. We are getting punished for trying to play the correct way. They shelled the ball from back to front and, fair enough, they got the result but it’s not pretty to watch.”

In the Central Taxis Premier Division, Stirling University moved to within two points of leaders Spartans after their 7-2 win against bottom club, Tynecastle. Whitehill drew 0-0 at Gretna 2008 although boss Mike Lawson was furious that his side had two late goals disallowed.