Preview: St Mirren v Edinburgh City


St Mirren and Edinburgh City meet for the first time at the Paisley 2021 Stadium tomorrow afternoon as the sides face up for the last group match in the Betfred Cup.
The sides had met previously when Edinburgh City were Scottish League members between 1931 and 1949, the last meeting being in a Scottish Cup tie that Saints won 3-1 in February 1939.
The Citizens proved at the end of last season that the new Pyramid System is working as after winning the Lowland League they became the first club to win promotion to League 2 through the new system thanks to a playoff victory over East Stirlingshire.
The SPFL’s new boys have had an interesting start to the season as they find their feet in the higher tiers. Their first Betfred Cup outing saw them lose pretty comprehensively to Livingston, going down 3-0. But the next match against Ayr United was a much tighter affair as the Honest Men hung on for a 1-0 win at Somerset Park. City’s faint hopes of qualification were peaked for a while midweek when Ross Allum scored an early brace to put the Edinburgh side 2-0 up against Hamilton Academical but the Premiership side battled back to win 4-2.

Many of the pundits nominated Edinburgh City as the outsiders in Group G and there is no doubt that their main priority will be to hit the ground running when the League 2 campaign kicks-off next weekend when Forfar Athletic make the trip through to the Meadowbank Stadium.
City manager Gary Jardine has assembled a hard-working squad which includes a few familiar faces including former East Fife and Cowdenbeath defender, Joe Mbu who has been with The Citizens since 2014. As Jardine builds his squad for the new season he brought on board former Livingston midfielder Dean Cummings, the older brother of Hibs striker Jason Cummings. Earlier this week former St Mirren target Craig Beattie was snapped up by Edinburgh City, the 32-year-old having worked on both sides of the Scotland-England border with Celtic, Hearts, St Johnstone, Dundee, West Brom, Swansea City and Barnet.
St Mirren made a new addition of their own through the week by signing Rangers forward Ryan Hardie on a loan deal till January 2017. The 19-year-old had a good loan spell with Raith Rovers last season going on to score 6 goals in 12 appearances for the Kirkcaldy side.
And it looks like goals are what St Mirren will be looking for tomorrow after last week’s disappointing 3-0 loss away to Hamilton Academical. Presently sitting in third spot in Group G, Saints face the tough task of needing at least a four goal win tomorrow to leapfrog Ayr United and give themselves some kind of chance of qualifying for the knockout rounds. Even if they do manage that, a win for Hamilton against Livingston will have Saints looking for a number of results elsewhere falling in their favour to qualify as one of the four best placed runner-ups. Saints could still win the section if Livi take something from their game against Hamilton and Saints get that four goal win. A scenario best left for Carol Vorderman to work out.