Edinburgh City 4-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3 Play-off, Semi-Final, First Leg, Ainslie Park, 03/05/22.

Calamity.

Shambles.

Disgrace.

Choose your own noun.

Whichever, this was a come-uppance that has been coming all season.

We weren’t the worse team in the first half; indeed we had several opportunities to put in good crosses, notably from Ross MacLean, but the delivery was never acceptable enough except when Conner Duthie put one over for Josh Oyinsan to head. Josh’s angle was slightly wrong and the ball just cleared the bar. That would have made it 1-1 and might have changed the game.

But our perennial ability to shoot ourselves in the foot manifested itself when George Stanger underhit a back-pass and Kieran Wright couldn’t prevent the forward getting past him to be presented with an open goal.

Their second was also an abject disaster, a corner somehow not being cleared and the ball going in off Gregor Buchanan. At that point any thought of winning this tie all but disappeared.

Mind you, if we had approached the start of the first half the way we did the second things might have been different. For the first twenty minutes we were all over them, creating space down the flanks and getting crosses in. It was two odd substitutions though with Kris Syvertsen who had looked as if he mignt create something and big Josh (who admittedly wasn’t at his best) being replaced by Kalvin Orsi and Callum Wilson. At this point Paul Paton was bossing the game from the base of midfield and it was his cross that was looped over the keeper from the edge of the box for our goal. Young Callum did his best, twisting and turning past defenders several times, but nobody was able to be calm enough to finish off his work.

Their third killed it. Another defensive mix-up and a reasonable save from Keiran Wright was followed by a failure to clear the ball which fell to a guy who couldn’t miss.

At 2-1 and with us on top there was the possibility of getting an equaliser but that goal knocked us back. 3-1 was always going to be a different prospect.

The final nail in the coffin with minutes to go – another short pass back latched on to by the home attack – just completed the humiliation.

The thought of watching the second leg was by then almost unbearable.

So; unless some sort of miracle happens on Saturday we now know where we’ll be playing next season; Tier 4.

Who knows where we’ll be the season after that?

The club is in deep trouble on and off the park. It’s its 150th anniversary later this year. What a sorry state it’s in to greet that.

Profound change is required.

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