Even the most optimistic Edinburgh City fan would have raised an eyebrow at the League 2 new kids finishing above title-favourites Clyde. But with two games left and a four-point gap over the Cumbernauld outfit, it’s looking likely.
But Saturday’s victory over Annan Athletic had more significance than that for Citizens fans. That 2-0 win ensured the capital club had achieved survival during their first season in the Ladbrokes SPFL.
So, it seemed the perfect time to look back at five crucial games which ensured City’s survival…
Forfar Athletic 1-1 Edinburgh City (29 October 2016)
After an inauspicious start to the season – taking just three points from the first 10 games – the away side weren’t much fancied against title-chasing Forfar at Station Park. But they produced an impressive display in Angus, to kick-start a good run of form.
City striker Ouzy See opened the scoring with a superb finish past Grant Adam on 28 minutes, and the visitors remained on the front foot, with Craig Beattie keeping the Loons keeper busy during a strong first-half showing.
Danny Denholm equalised midway through the second half, but the Citizens looked comfortable after conceding, and more than deserved their point. And what followed was even better…
Edinburgh City 1-0 Annan Athletic (12 November 2016)
Hot on the heels of that draw at Station Park, and a victory over then-strugglers Montrose, Gary Jardine’s men secured their first SPFL win in front of the Meadowbank Stadium faithful – plugging away until a late breakthrough arrived.
Striker Ross Allum was unlucky not to open the scoring, first heading just wide and later hitting the post, as the Citizens put the pressure on in the opening half-hour.
The pressure mounted after the break, with Allum and Ross Guthrie both thwarted by in-form Annan stopper Blair Currie. But their persistence and high tempo eventually prevailed, with the wonderfully named Ryan Porteous nodding home in the 81st minute. As for the Galabankies, they had no answer to that.
Cowdenbeath 1-2 Edinburgh City (28 February 2017)
The Blue Brazil may have taken the lead at Station Park, but it was City who grabbed the spoils in Fife, following an impressive comeback on their travels – the first time they’d come from behind to win in the SPFL.
Following Dale Carrick’s early opener, prolific defender Dougie Gair fired home from the penalty spot to level the scores on 17 minutes. That was followed by something of a lull, but the second half saw the Citizens grind out a victory.
After a superb block prevented Carrick from restoring Cowden’s lead, well-travelled midfielder Josh Walker netted smartly at the other end to put the visitors in the ascendancy. Carrick and Liam Henderson had chances to level the score in the latter stages, but the visitors held on for a crucial win.
Forfar Athletic 1-2 Edinburgh City (11 March 2017)
Loons fans must be rueing the day the Citizens won promotion. Having already won at Station Park in the Scottish Cup earlier in the campaign, Jardine’s side repeated the feat in the league, with a magnificent late rally turning this tie on its head.
Having held firm against some serious Forfar pressure for most of the first half, the visitors’ resistance was eventually broken by Jim Lister’s smart header just before the break. But anyone expecting one-way traffic from thereon would have been mistaken.
Chances were fairly few and far between for much of the second period, before former Celtic striker Derek Riordan made it all-square with a deft finish from a cross on 76 minutes.
And Lewis Allen went one better in the 89th minute, with his spectacular looping effort securing the points and leading to jubilant scenes on the away bench.
Edinburgh City 3-0 Elgin City (25 March 2017)
While the Citizens have been solid at the back this season, they haven’t always been as strong at the other end. But the Edinburgh outfit showed they know how to entertain in this rout of play-off chasing Elgin.
Dougie Gair struck a smart opener on 37 minutes, and doubled the lead just after the break, with the prolific midfielder smashing home from the penalty spot. From there, they were on easy street, and a third goal looked inevitable.
It duly arrived when Allen set up Jordan Caddow for his first goal of the season – condemning Elgin to their heaviest league defeat since 2014.
Next up for Edinburgh City is the visit of Stirling Albion on Saturday.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing