Edinburgh City moved five points clear at the top of the Lowland League after coming from behind to beat Vale of Leithen 3-1 at Meadowbank.
A quick-fire Ross Allum brace and a Grant Vanson strike in the second half earned City the points after James Elliot’s early opener for Vale.
Allum was delighted with his double – even if the second was unexpected following a mistake from the keeper. “It’s one of those goals you don’t get very often,” said the No.9. “I thought the goalie had it so I was about to turn away when I saw it bounce down and just tapped it in. I’ll take them everyday of the week.”
The visitors took the lead with their first opportunity after seven minutes. City failed to clear a free-kick swung into the near post from the left and captain Elliot forced the ball home.
Allum tested Vale keeper Mark Wilson on 13 minutes with a first-time shot after Ian McFarland’s overhead kick was blocked, the keeper pushing the ball wide for a corner. Joe Mbu connected with the resulting set-piece but could only direct the ball into Wilson’s arms.
Allum had better luck. Jordan Caddow’s delivery wasn’t held by Wright, and the loose ball dropped to Allum in the area and he volleyed home.
The striker netted his second within 60 seconds in bizarre fashion. The bounce of a long, hopeful ball forward deceived Wright, allowing Allum to steal in behind him and score.
Vale kept preventing the hosts getting into a rhythm with one or two late challenges, and still posed a threat from set pieces. City keeper Andrew Stobie was required to tip Kenny O’Brien’s cross off the head of Ainslie Hunter and he followed that up by saving Jack Blaikie’s volley with his legs.
Allum was in the mood for a hat-trick and fired a powerful shot into Wright’s arms from fully 30 yards on 39 minutes. Nico Gibson’s speculative cross from the right was then deflected just wide of the near post with Wright stranded.
Allum’s through ball put Gibson in the behind within a minute of the restart. The midfielder looked as if he was being held back all the way before going down when attempting to shoot, but claims for a City penalty and red card were ignored.
Gibson’s perseverance gave him a sight of goal on 53 minutes. He outmuscled Jordyn Gill on the touchline, drove into the box and skipped by another defender but blazed over when a cut back would have been the better choice. He tried again just after the hour but Wright held his dipping effort from distance.
Allum should have had his third after a poor resulting kick-out. Deniran pulled the ball down and sent him clear on the angle of the box, but he couldn’t find the target, curling high and wide.
Sub Grant Vanson doubled City’s advantage after 64 minutes. Gibson’s initial blocked shot ran nicely for him, and he made no mistake in powerfully firing the ball low past Wright.
City Manager Gary Jardine was pleased with the way his side responded to going behind early. “It was a good response,” he said. “We got a bit lucky with the second goal but their keeper had made a couple of cracking saves. Once we got the equaliser I was confident we’d go and win.”
Edinburgh City: Stobie; Caddow; Donaldson; Deniran; Paterson; Mbu; McFarland (Vanson 45); Gair (Guthrie 81); Allum (Osborne 69); Dunn; Gibson.
Vale of Leithen: Wilson; Sclater (White) 77; Gill; Lynch; Blaikie; Stevens; Elliot; O’Brien; Hunter; Flanagan; Mitchell.