City Comeback Crushes Kelty

A last gasp equaliser from Jack Brydon saw Edinburgh City grab a point against League Two leaders Kelty Hearts at New Central Park. Aaron Fraser reports.

Wild celebrations in Fife. (Photo Credit – Tommy Lee Photography/Edinburgh City FC)

Once again in the lead up to an Edinburgh City game, there was plenty of changes afoot in the squad. Alex Ferguson headed back to St Johnstone after completing his loan spell, while Ryan Goodfellow and Michael McFarlane had their contracts terminated by mutual consent. Fan favourite Allan Smith also chose not to extend his deal, a sad end to the City career for a quality midfielder sadly hampered by injuries.

Both teams made their way onto the park to vociferous backing from their respective set of fans. The Kelty Hearts Ultras packed into their enclosure, their drumbeats and chants were matched by the travelling City Lads who made the journey to Fife. As well as the excellent game that was set to unfold, the back and forth between two young sets of passionate fans following their local teams was a constant source of entertainment.

City were keen to avenge the two defeats Kelty had inflicted on them this season, and to the surprise of many, created a barrowload of chances. Innes Murray fired wide before Kelty responded with a good chance of their own. Daniel Finlayson broke into the box and pulled the trigger only to see his shot hit the side netting.

City continued to create numerous opportunities to take the lead. Callum Tapping drilled a low effort just wide of the target before Anthony McDonald did the same minutes later. Danny Handling also came close with a curling free kick that was inches away from giving the Citizens what would have been a deserved lead.

The sucker punch would arrive on 27 minutes as Joe Cardle latched onto a long ball and expertly volleyed the ball over Schwake to give the Maroon Machine the opening goal.

The interval came and went with City fans confident of a second half comeback. Those hopes appeared to be short lived when Cardle lashed in his second goal on 55 minutes to put Kelty two goals to the good.

Ouzy See thought he had given his side a lifeline when he stabbed home from close range, however the City celebrations were short-lived as the linesman raised his offside flag.

City would finally get the goal their play merited on 75 minutes when Danny Handling burst into the left hand side of the box before expertly shifting the ball onto his right foot and finishing well into the bottom left corner.

Away from home against the league leaders, 2-1 down in injury time. For most teams, the efforts put in would be in vain. Gary Naysmith’s Citizens had other ideas.

On 93 minutes, McDonald whipped in a teasing cross from the right hand side. Jack Brydon, on only his second appearance for the club, met the delivery to glance home a stoppage time equaliser. Cue bedlam. The small band of City supporters behind the goal roared with delight as their heroes in black and white celebrated madly by the corner flag. A valuable point had been snatched from the jaws of defeat, an away day to remember for years to come.

City gaffer Gary Naysmith felt his side were deserving of a point:

“I thought we were unfortunate to be 2-0 down if I’m being honest. I don’t think we should have been behind at half time, but there was a moment of brilliance from Joe Cardle to give them the opener. Then you find yourself 2-0 down and you think ‘Wow, our performance certainly doesn’t deserve that.’

“There was 10 minutes where we had to hang in and grind a wee bit, and then we had to take a gamble. We changed it ever so slightly and went a wee bit more attacking. We got a goal back and then you’re just hoping to get that one other chance. Pleasing, but no more than we deserved.”

Edinburgh City’s next game is a Scottish Cup trip to Aberdeen while Kelty Hearts are at home in the same competition to holders St Johnstone.

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