EDINBURGH CITY 2-2 COVE RANGERS
A last minute own goal spared Cove blushes as Edinburgh blew their chance of a first win of the season. We had led early on thanks to Rumarn Burrell but fell out of the game and the bottom side, having come from behind, looked set for victory until suffering late heartbreak.
With only long-term absentees Luke Strachan and Josh Kerr counted out, manager Paul Hartley named an unchanged line-up from last week’s much improved performance in the draw with Kelty Hearts.
In the somewhat surreal surroundings of Meadowbank Stadium, it was the home side who made the better start, defender MacDonald pushing forward to send in a powerful shot which Blair Yule deflected for a corner.
That came to nothing, but Mark Reynolds had to concede another soon after, cutting out a dangerous Murray cross. From the resultant delivery, the ball dropped to the giant McLean who unleashed a close range effort. With the home fans already celebrating, Nick Suman made an outstanding save, then grabbed the ball on the line.
In the sixth minute we finally got out, Mitch Megginson and Paul McGowan combining to send Jacob Jones free down the left. The full back flashed in an inviting cross, but Fontaine got a touch to divert the ball to safety.
The next move brought the opening goal.
Mark Reynolds strode forward from halfway, and with the space opening up in front of him, shot low and hard from thirty yards. The ball skidded off the damp surface, and McAdams did well to make the save, but he could only push the ball out, and the alert Rumarn BURRELL was first to react to net from close range, his sixth goal of the season.
It was even thereafter, neither side creating any clear cut opportunities, but the home side were to level in the eighteenth minute.
Battling with Shanley outside the box, Jones was adjudged to have fouled the striker and was booked by referee Stuart. Murray curled in the free kick from the right and Danny HANDLING found the freedom to glance an angled header inside the far post.
Cove hit back and Fyvie sent in a dangerous cross which Fontaine headed for a corner, then Megginson and Jones linked up, the wide man flashing in a superb ball which Mitch flicked just wide of the near post.
In the twenty-seventh minute Fyvie rolled a pass into the box which Burrell teed-up for Megginson, the striker unlucky to see his well-struck effort cannon back off the crossbar, although the effort would not have counted as the assistant belatedly raised his flag for offside.
Mark Reynolds was proving to be a major attacking threat for us, breaking from deep and taking the game to the home side. His latest foray forward very nearly resulted in Cove regaining the lead when his pass found Burrell who was sent crashing to the ground twenty yards out. Fraser Fyvie stepped up and his free-kick, expertly curled over the wall, flew inches wide of the left post with McAdams beaten.
We were dominating in this period of the game, springing attack after attack. Fyvie again came agonisingly close when his angled effort flew over the keeper, but bounced just wide, then the midfielder set up Megginson whose shot from inside the box cleared the bar.
Paul Hartley made a half-time switch, Will Gillingham replacing Sena in central defence.
It was a quiet opening to the second period, Edinburgh enjoying the bulk of the possession, but we very nearly made the breakthrough in the fifty-first minute. The ball was played wide to Megginson who controlled it, burst past two defenders, then fired in a low angled shot which McAdams had to dive to beat away.
The home side then came close when the unmarked Shanley fed a pass into the box. Connor Scully, eager to shut down the danger, got his foot to it, the ball spinning just wide of the post, and we survived another scare seconds later when Spence shot from thirty yards, his effort also wide of the left upright.
Cove then looked set to take the lead when Yule found Burrell running free into the box. The striker took possession, cleverly dragged the ball away from MacDonald, then clipped it over the keeper, but Hamilton appeared from nowhere to clear off the line.
Within seconds we were behind.
Ryan SHANLEY gathered some twenty yards out, took a few paces, then curled his shot beyond Suman and into the far corner.
With the game in its final quarter, the manager made two more changes as Williamson and Connell replaced Yule and Burrell. They switched to a 4-3-1-2 at that point, Stewart moving out to right back and Megginson operating behind the two substitutes. Soon after, Tyler Mykyta took over from McGowan.
There was little happening for us at that stage, but a crunching Cameron Stewart tackle changed that. The defender won the ball then ran a full fifty yards before passing wide to Williamson. Scott gathered and shot low and hard, McAdams pushing his effort away, then Fyvie looped in a cross to the back post which Williamson headed wide.
Scott again came close in the dying seconds, his angled shot flying just wide of the post.
Edinburgh should have killed us off in the ninetieth minute when Offord ran away from Reynolds and raced in on goal. Rather than shoot low, he attempted the chip, and Suman saved.
City were to pay for that seconds later. Kyle Connell whipped the ball in from the left and Jack WILKIE headed past his own keeper for an unlikely equaliser.
In a frantic conclusion, Mitch Megginson shot over before City were presented with another glaring opportunity. Will Gillingham misread a long ball forward and his header back fell well short. Shanley ran on to it and curled his shot beyond Suman, but against the left post.
There was one last opening for us, Scully’s effort from the edge of the box comfortably saved.
Over the piece, it was a disappointing showing, but the fortunate conclusion at least maintained our five point cushion at the foot of the table.
EDINBURGH CITY (3-5-2): McAdams; Hamilton, Fontaine (c) (Mercer 46), MacDonald (Wilkie 79); Ewen, Murray (Leitch 32), Handling, Spence, Crane; McLean (Offord 72), Shanley
Substitutes: Quate, Stirling, Mahon, Jacobs, Gormley
Goalscorers: Handling (18), Shanley (59)
Booked: Spence (83)
COVE RANGERS (3-5-2): Suman; Sena (Gillingham 46), Stewart, Reynolds; Yule, (Williamson 69), McGowan (Mykyta 76), Fyvie, Scully, Jones; Megginson (c), Burrell (Connell 69)
Substitutes: Demus, Ochmanski, Darge, Gallagher
Goalscorers: Burrell (7), Wilkie (OG 90)
Booked: Jones (17), Stewart (25)
Referee: Peter Stuart
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