Rovers reign supreme as City fall short again
On a frustrating night at Ainslie Park, Albion Rovers took all three points back to Coatbridge at the expense of Edinburgh City. Aaron Fraser reports.
Despite being in great form recently, fans of Edinburgh City had every right to shudder at the thought of playing Albion Rovers. The Coatbridge side had won every single encounter with the Citizens this season so far – once on penalties in the Premier Sports Cup and twice in league action. On a cold Tuesday night in Pilton, the two sides made their way onto the pitch in search of a massive three points.
Albion Rovers would go closest to opening the scoring early on, as a Blair Malcolm cross from the left hand side ended up evading everyone in the box and crashing off the crossbar before being cleared away to safety.
21 minutes in, Danny Handling whipped in a dangerous cross that Innes Murray was just unable to connect with at the back post. Soon after, the City number 10 would let fly with a sizzling 35-yarder that rippled the side netting.
The last action of the first half came from a set piece. Brian Schwake did well to save a long range Albion Rovers free kick, before the teams headed for the dressing room with the game goalless at the interval.
Five minutes into the second half, John Robertson blazed over the bar from just inside the box. With half an hour to go, Schwake once again showed why he’s up there as one of City’s signings of the season by pulling off two ridiculous saves in the space of two minutes. The American was on hand to somehow deny Rovers what would have been two guaranteed goals if not for his superhuman reflexes.
Rovers would open the scoring on 72 minutes with a catastrophic own goal from the City defence. Michael Travis passed the ball back to Schwake, however the ball rolled right past the City keeper and into the back of the net.
City would haul themselves back into the game three minutes later. Robertson was played clean through on goal and the striker showed great composure to dink the ball over the on-loan Harry Stone and score an outrageous equaliser.
However, it would be the visitors who had the last laugh. In the 84th minute, Kyle Doherty unleashed a rocket from the edge of the box that screamed into the top right corner of Schwake’s goal, sending the away side delirious.
On a night where City never really got going, they paid the price for a sub-par performance as Rovers moved up to eighth in the cinch League Two table.
Edinburgh City’s next match is away to Annan Athletic on Saturday while Albion Rovers travel to play Stirling Albion on the same date.