Hoodoo continues for EK as IRN-BRU Cup run ends
East Kilbride ............ 2 Edinburgh City ......... 3
Paul Thomson at K-Park
Brian Kerr reckons East Kilbride are a match for the best team in League Two – despite conceding twice in the final moments to crash out of the IRN-BRU Cup.
Kilby looked set to end their hoodoo with old foes and League Two pace setters Edinburgh City on Saturday, but they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
The K-Park side - who lost all but one of their six Lowland League meetings when they were title rivals with City a few seasons back – fell behind after Blair Henderson’s opener for City.
Two goals in a minute from Ross McNeil and Craig Malcolm midway through the second half turned the game on its head.
Yet Kilby diehards were left looking on in horror as their curse continued.
Kerr’s men switched off and City sub Allan Smith netted in the 84th and 86th minute to land a killer blow.
It was a spectacular collapse with EK heading for what would have been a deserved win, but Kerr was keen to focus on the positives.
He said: “Lapses in concentration at the goals have cost us late on, but it’s hard to question our application because we were very good for long spells.
“Sometimes you don’t get your just rewards in football and that’s how it goes. Over the course, we deserved a result.
“If you analyse every goal you concede, there will always be something that goes wrong. The first one could have been dealt with better, but all three could have, to be honest.
“The challenge was to come here and see how close we were to a side who are flying high in League Two and I think the question has been answered: we are not far away at all.
“But if you make mistakes at this level, teams will punish you and that’s exactly what happened.”
City took the lead against the run of play in 36 minutes when Scott Stevenson failed to deal with a long ball and Blair Henderson found the net with a sidefoot finish.
Kilby hit back when McNeil rifled a low drive into the bottom corner after 72 minutes and within 60 seconds Malcolm headed home from BJ Coll’s pinpoint cross.
However, Smith had the final say. First he peeled off Craig Reid at the back post to loop a header back across McGinley in 84 minutes and he was given the freedom of K-Park to nod in the winner two minutes later.
EK, who were knocked off top spot in the Lowland League by Spartans at the weekend, will bid to bounce back on Saturday when they face Bo’ness in round two of the South Challenge Cup (kick-off at K-Park is 3pm). They then head to Spartans on September 22 when league duties resume.
Equaliser EK’s McNeil, left, made it 1-1