'We beat ourselves': Edinburgh City's play-off hopes under threat after defeat by Queen's Park
Edinburgh City’s play-off hopes are under threat following a disappointing 2-0 setback to champions Queen’s Park.
The defeat at the Falkirk Stadium, the club’s third in their last four games, means the Capital outfit remain second in the standings on goal difference ahead of Elgin City, who they host at Ainslie Park on Saturday in what is the penultimate League Two fixture of the season.
Stirling Albion are also level on 35 points in fourth, with Stranraer just a point out of the play-off zone in fifth.
The Citizens complete their league programme with a trip to Stranraer on Tuesday night before the first round of the play-offs get underway next Saturday.
Manager Gary Naysmith said: “I’m a bit frustrated because I think we beat ourselves. We limited Queen’s Park to very little, although we didn’t create a lot either. We were a wee bit loose in possession so at half-time we just asked them to stay in the game.
"But we didn’t help ourselves. We can’t give away the goals we did and still expect to come away with something from the game. I can’t fault the players’ application and attitude but, we’ve made two mistakes that have cost us the match. These things can happen and unfortunately it happened for us twice in the same game.
“Tomorrow is a huge game now. The league is very tight so we still have to take care of the business ourselves. Something has got to give. Elgin’s tails will be up, they are the form team winning games and scoring goals. But it’s a very short turnaround so we need to forget Queen’s Park and concentrate on what lies ahead. We need to bounce back.”
Louis Longridge sized up the opportunity from 25 yards in the eighth minute and his shot uncharacteristically beat Calum Antell in the visitors’ goal.
City’s response was almost instantaneous as Conrad Balatoni got his head to a Craig Thomson corner but the defender’s effort was a foot over the crossbar.
The hosts should have doubled their advantage just after the half-hour mark when Balatoni’s loose pass was pounced upon by Longridge, but the midfielder was this time denied by the outstretched foot of Antell.
In truth, City were wasteful in possession in the first half and they gave themselves a mountain to climb just before the hour when Luca Connell capitalised on a Balatoni error to fire the ball beyond Antell.
Danny Handling entered the fray with 25 minutes remaining and the former Hibs midfielder brought a bit of urgency to the final third. However, the visitors lacked any punch in and around the Spiders penalty box with goalkeeper Willie Muir largely untested.
Queen’s Park: Muir, Doyle, Kilday, Morrison, Robson, Carroll (Lyon 76), Connell (Galt 63), Gillies (Gillespie 63), Baynham (MacLean 63), McHugh, Longridge (Kouider-Aissa 76). Subs: Collumbine, Paterson, Biggar.
Edinburgh City: Antell, Thomson, McIntyre, Balatoni, Crane, Brown, Jardine, Laird, De Vita (Handling 63), Campbell, See (Dishington 86). Subs: Beveridge, Black, Jarron, Newman, Goodfellow, Denham.