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After a long hiatus Mark is back with a new story. Where will it take him?

Discussion
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October 2019 Round-Up


https://i.postimg.cc/Y0GQ3Ysx/FM19-October2019-1.png

A short and sweet month for us, the exit from the Irn-Bru Cup meant we only played two games.

The first one was a visit to the C&G Systems Stadium in Dumbarton to renew acquaintances with John "Yogi" Hughes and his side. It was a game played in horrendous conditions with hail and sleet coming down all game but we took the lead after 14 minutes with a move straight off the training ground. Craig Thomson with the corner and Andy Black arriving on cue to drill a low shot into the far corner of the net. That was the only goal of the first half, but it took us only five minutes of the second to double the lead. Dumbarton defender Craig Barr hit his back pass a wee bit too firm so much so that his keeper did well to stop the own goal but the ball came out to Danny Handling who gleefully snapped up the chance. A third goal arrived for us in the 64th minute, Handling with a cross to the far post and captain Blair Henderson applied the finish.

It got even better in the 76th minute as we bagged a fourth. Marc Laird was baulked in the area as he challenged from a Thomson free-kick, penalty. Up stepped Henderson to send the keeper the wrong way and send the away fans dancing with delight. They did score two consolations which really slightly flattered them, Liam Brown scoring his first ever goal for the Sons with nine minutes to go and then with the virtually last chance of the game; Brown's shot took a deflection off Matthew Shaw and diverted into the net.

Game two was at home to Clyde, a team that had won the last two games between us. We made the ideal start with a goal after just three minutes. Handling floated a cross into the area which Henderson flicked towards goal only for it to strike the post but Mitch Megginson made no mistake with the rebound. It took us until the 78th minute to seal the deal and the three points, Thomson with the cross and Henderson headed in from close range. A maximum haul.

So the table at the end of October 2019 is thus:

https://i.postimg.cc/rwQNC1Vv/FM19-October2019-2.png

Next Game Update: Monthly Awards
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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October 2019 Monthly Awards

https://i.postimg.cc/pL6nLqXX/FM19-October2019-3.png

Third place, not what I wanted to be honest. Guess the convincing wins took the vote away from me..

https://i.postimg.cc/zBSBKj5h/FM19-October2019-4.png

So the Montrose love-in continues with "Harry" Potter taking the Player of the Month award ahead of Captain Blair. He completed a Montrose clean sweep by taking the Young Player of the Month award too, none of our players got considered for that.


Next Game Update: Scottish Cup Draw
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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Bairns to give tough Cup test


https://i.postimg.cc/x8yvP3Nt/scottishfacup.jpg

The draw for the Third Round of this season William Hill Scottish Cup has been made, and City have been presented with a tough home encounter. City will be hosting fellow League One side Falkirk, and manager Mark Duell is very cautious about it:

"I'm delighted with a home draw in the Scottish Cup, then again who wouldn't be?

However we have been paired with Falkirk, our divisional rivals. This is indeed a tough draw for us, probably the one we didn't want to have. It makes our task to make the Fourth Round which we set out to do, that bit harder. We certainly will have to battle for our place in the next round that's for sure.

Falkirk have been on a decent run of form since we defeated them in September. I'm not reading anything into previous encounters either as this is Cup football and the form book usually goes out of the proverbial window with this. Time to roll up the sleeves and fight for a round four spot. This is what separates men from boys."

The game will be played on Saturday 23 November 2019 with a 3:00pm kick-off.

Next Game Update: November 2019 Game Previews
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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November 2019 Preview


https://i.postimg.cc/NftYhNLX/FM19-November2019-Fixtures.png


A four game month following on from last month's quiet one where we played only twice.

We start the month with a trip to the Falkirk Stadium to face the team that most people are still tipping to win the division. They have definitely improved since we faced them last time out, hence we will have to be at our best to come away from there with three more points added to our unexpected title challenge. Anything we can take from this game will be an absolute bonus.

It does not get any easier the week after as we host Airdrie at Ainslie Park. We saw them off convincingly at their place but they've been much better since that defeat. As this month starts, they are breathing down our necks with only a single point separating us. Another A-Game performance at home this time is required if we are to keep them away from chipping at us, I'm expecting a second tough game in as many weeks.

We have a week off before the third game of the month and that so happens to be the William Hill Scottish Cup Third Round tie. It's another meeting with Falkirk and whilst it's not the ideal draw that I wanted, I wanted a lower league side we could see off easily, we will have to roll our sleeves up and battle for a place in the Fourth Round which is our bare minimum requirement. It's something that isn't beyond us though.

The month finishes with an away trip to Stranraer and they are capable of taking the points off us if we aren't careful. They were unlucky not to take the points against us at our place recently so we will have to definitely step it up there if we are to bank another away win. Four tough games for us, games which could have a bearing on where we finish overall. Win the lot and perhaps we can start to dream that bit more. That said, is there anything actually with dreaming? We're certainly living the dream so far.

Long may it continue....
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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I'm going to be away now for a few days so there will be very few updates, if any, during that period.

Keep reading and comments on the story are more than welcomed.
That aside, I have a bit of quandary: shall I keep the current result and story format for season 3 etc. or does it need a bit of a freshen up to attract some more views and comments?

Let me know...
Mark
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

http://i67.tinypic.com/fo14oy.jpg
I'm going to be away now for a few days so there will be very few updates, if any, during that period.

Keep reading and comments on the story are more than welcomed.
That aside, I have a bit of quandary: shall I keep the current result and story format for season 3 etc. or does it need a bit of a freshen up to attract some more views and comments?


Let me know...
Mark

The story is very good still mate, im enjoying the updates. Unfortunately forums are a lot quieter for comments these days. Keep doing what you're doing.
https://i.imgur.com/zgMyvyG.png?2
Thanks for your kind words as always @Dan - lots of exciting updates to upload shortly. Keep tuning in, I really want this one to do well and make the HoF.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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Running well in the league, let’s hope it continues!
Thank you @AdamRK - I'm hoping season two will lead to more good things. But we will have to wait and see what happens.

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November 2019 Round-Up


https://i.postimg.cc/bvDMYSdt/FM19-November2019-1.png

A month of League and Cup games as we head into the halfway point of the campaign.

The month started with a trip to the Falkirk Stadium to face the league favourites. Although we went into the game with a seven point advantage over them, they are a quality outfit who could easily erode that in a matter of a few games. I wasn't expecting it to be easy and so it proved. We did make a good start with the opening goal in the 21st minute, Mitch Megginson played the ball forward and it was missed by the home defender, leaving captain Blair Henderson an easy chance to tuck the ball home. They equalised though five minutes later when right-back Tony Dingwall converted a penalty given for an apparent shove on Greig Spence by young Matthew Shaw.I thought we would come away with a point but they scored the winner in time added on at the very end; former Rangers midfielder Gregg Wylde set up Kevin O'Hara and he made no mistake.

A week later we entertained second placed Airdrie at Ainslie Park, and an immediate shot at bouncing straight back. The game was only 15 seconds old when we opened the scoring; promising left winger Graham Taylor picked up a loose ball and charged towards goal before placing his shot beyond the opposing keeper. Dale Carrick equalised in the 12th for the Diamonds but they didn't sparkle much after that. We regained the lead four minutes after that equaliser; Danny Handling swung the ball in from the right and Megginson powered home a header for his 10th of the season since joining us in the summer. The game and points were sewn up midway through the second half when Taylor played in Megginson and he in turn teed up strike partner Henderson who finished with aplomb.

A second home game in succession followed, and it was our William Hill Scottish Cup Third Round tie against divisional rivals Falkirk: our second meeting in the space of three weeks. We took a 10th minute lead when man of the match Craig Thomson weighted a ball into Andy Black, who had made a superb break from midfield, and he coolly lifted it over the advancing Falkirk keeper. Six minutes later they equalised thanks to Spence but we went into half time ahead with a second goal after 36 minutes, once more Thomson provided the assist and this time it was Taylor who powered home a header at the far post. We couldn't hold on though as the pesky O'Hara levelled matters two minutes after the restart but there was no further scoring after that.

This meant a replay back at the Falkirk Stadium on the last Saturday of the month, which meant the Stranraer game had to be rescheduled. A place in the Fourth Round awaited the winners, and we were up against it when Higgins and Wilkie scored within three minutes of each other either side of the half hour mark. We did find a route back into the game with a goal immediately after half time when Megginson angled home a header into the far corner just 16 seconds into the second half, Thomson with another quality assist. However try as we might we could not find a second goal and as such tumbled out, leaving the Bairns to enjoy a Fourth Round home tie against Championship side Alloa Athletic.

So the table at the end of November saw the following:

https://i.postimg.cc/GhmXhT5m/FM19-November2019-2.png

Next Game Update: November 2019 Awards
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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November 2019 Monthly Awards

Manager of the Month:

https://i.postimg.cc/1tk47jYj/FM19-November2019-4a.png

Player of the Month:

https://i.postimg.cc/tJFJKNKC/FM19-November2019-4b.png

Young Player of the Month:

https://i.postimg.cc/MZBnfzn2/FM19-November2019-4c.png

Nothing coming our way this month. Hopefully December will be a much better month, right?
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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Duell: I'm going nowhere

Edinburgh City can today confirm that manager Mark Duell is staying at Ainslie Park. Following City’s impressive start to life in League One, speculation was rife that the highly rated manager was set to leave and take up the reigns at Championship strugglers Ross County.

However, the manager has reacted quickly to douse those rumours as being totally true:

“I don’t know where this has come from but I have no intention of taking the vacant role at Ross County.

The Club themselves have not approached me to discuss it, and even if they had done so then I would not be taking up the opportunity to move there. It’s just pure speculation to be honest.

I’m more than happy with what I am blessed to have here at (Edinburgh) City and it’s my objective at the moment to do the best I can for them. If that means turning down more lucrative positions at this current juncture then so be it.

City fans take note, I am not on the move.”

The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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December 2019 Preview


https://i.postimg.cc/bwGmcG6S/FM19-December2019-Fixtures.png


Another busy month which will leave us with just 16 games to play at the end of it.

We start the month with the re-arranged away game against Stranraer. This game was supposed to be played at the end of November but the Cup replay at Falkirk put pay to that. They are a side that has caused us a few problems this season and I'm expecting another testing game there. Should we slip up, and Airdrie win, then our advantage at the head of the League One table will be reduced to one solitary point. This is the business end of the season now.

Another team which have caused us a few problems are next game up, an away game at Arbroath. When we faced them at Ainslie Park earlier in the season, they performed better than their league position actually shows. We escaped that day with a 1-1 draw. I'm not expecting an easy game from our trip to face the Red Licthies, but then there's such no thing as one the higher up the league ladder you advance.

Our solitary home game follows next as we entertain Forfar Athletic. Forfar begin the month propping the rest of us up but don't let that fool you at all. If we go into this game with any bit of over confidence then we will come unstuck for sure, we really need to win and lay down a marker.

Two more away games finish December before there is a winter break of sorts. First up is a trip to Montrose, yet another side that we have had our fair share of problems with this season. In Michael Potter, on loan from Dunfermline, they have a striker that knows where the net is. We need to find a way to keep him quiet. Christmas Eve is our final game of December 2019, and it's back to Broadwood to face Clyde who are capable of upsetting us if we're not careful.

All in all, another tough month. We need to come out of this strong if we are to harbour ambitions of having another success laden season.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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Captain signs new deal

http://i66.tinypic.com/2ni6zaa.jpg


Edinburgh City can today confirm that captain Blair Henderson has signed a two and a half year extension to his contract which was supposed to expire this summer. The ever popular 24 year old skipper will now remain under contract until the summer of 2022.

Blair admitted he took his time to put pen to paper before committing to the club.

“I’m very happy to announce that I have signed a new deal here at Ainslie Park.

There had been some interest from elsewhere but the gaffer obviously sees me as an integral part of his jigsaw here and like me, is very ambitious in everything he does.

He’s certainly brought my game onto a whole new level, and I look forward to working with him for quite a while yet.”

City can also confirm that they have also agreed new deals with central defenders Matty Allan and Liam Henderson as well as attacking midfielder Andy Black and Club vice-captain Graham Taylor.

You can hear more from those players and Captain Blair by tuning into the official Club TV Channel HERE.

The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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December 2019 Round-Up


https://i.postimg.cc/y6Sdst6Q/FM19-December2019-1.png

A busy period of five games in just three weeks before the division shuts itself down for a winter break.

The month began with the re-arranged trip to Stranraer which should have been played the Saturday previous but a Scottish Cup replay against Falkirk kinda took precedence. Anyway we didn't show any hangover from the Cup exit as we produced a professional performance against a side who have given us a few things to worry about this season. The opening goal came in the 27th minute when Liam Callaghan played a suicidal pass across his penalty area and straight into the path of Mitch Megginson. The striker's first shot was parried by Max Currie in the home goal but he made no mistake with the second opportunity presented to him. We secured the win with a clinching second goal eight minutes later, Andy Black celebrating his new deal with a well struck effort from outside the penalty area. After that we saw them off with a resolute performance and never looked like conceding/losing.

Fast forward four days and an away trip to Gayfield Park, Arbroath. It was a physical game with referee Steven McLean dishing out six yellow cards, four of them to our hosts. We were ahead in the 32nd minute with a well free-kick routine. As always Craig Thomson supplied the delivery and left-back Michael Kennedy rose like a salmon to plant a header into the net with the home keeper stranded. They equalised though in the 57th minute when David Ross netted and that was the end of the scoring. A second successive draw, again 1-1, and it certainly felt like a couple of points dropped as we boarded the coach back to Edinburgh. Disappointing.

Another card-laden game came next, and in our only home game of the month. We hosted lowly Forfar Athletic and if you though the Arbroath game was ill-tempered then this was even worse: 10 yellow cards and 1 red issued by referee Steven Reid! It wasn't a pretty game which we had to dig in for our second win of the month. Liam Connelly handed Forfar the lead after 35 minutes and the Loons certainly made us feel loony until midway through the second half when we got back on level terms. Some superb work down the right by Chris Humphrey saw the experienced winger cross and captain Blair Henderson got to the ball first before a visiting defender to head the ball home. Forfar were reduced to ten men with 14 minutes to go when defender Darren Whyte was dismissed for a second yellow card, and we punished in the best way possible with what turned out to be the winner a minute later. Thomson floated in a free-kick and substitute Josh Peters reacted first to net with a little help from the post. He had only been on the pitch seven minutes; having replaced an ineffective Graham Taylor.

We had another tough match the Saturday before Christmas as we headed to Montrose. It was certainly a game to remember for their loanee signing Michael Potter. "Harry" as I've nicknamed him had a game he'll never want to forget. He opened the scoring for his side after just three minutes but then had the misfortune, for him, to score an own goal for our equaliser in the 53rd minute. Potter diverted a Megginson shot on goal past his bewildered keeper as Montrose defended a Thomson corner. But that bad luck for him turned into a happy ending as he grabbed a winner for his improving side in the second minute of time added-on and crush our dreams of leaving with a point.

The month ended with another trip to Broadwood to face Clyde. A good chance to bounce back straight away but equally another banana skin with them struggling at the wrong end of the table, trying to avoid an immediate return to League Two. We made an excellent start, going two goals up in the first 31 minutes. The first goal came in the 14th minute when a deep cross from Humphrey was powerfully headed into the net by Megginson. Goal number two in the 31st minute was an example of two strikers working well with each other, Megginson with a cross from the left and Henderson heading in from six yards out.

They did gain a route back into the game two minutes from the interval, Muir's shot taking a wicked deflection off Kieran Stewart and finding its way into the net. It was tense after that but two late goals secured a comprehensive win in the end. In the 88th minute, Kennedy reacted first after the Clyde keeper couldn't hold onto a Megginson shot; and then in time added-on Henderson crossed from the right and Megginson finished from point blank range. A very satisfying away win and very impressive that we kept their highly rated star man Scott Lochhead quiet as a mouse.

Slight technical hitch with producing the league table, that'll be back for January's review.

Next Game Update: December Monthly Awards
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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December 2019 Monthly Awards

Manager of the Month:

https://i.postimg.cc/ZKsdzGFD/FM19-December2019-2.png

If only, close but no cigar as the saying goes, Just think if we had been beaten Arbroath as opposed to drawing with them. Next month maybe?.

None of our players featured in the Player and Young Player of the Month award. Forfar's Declan Drysdale, on loan from Partick, took both awards.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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Manager's Half Time Report


31 December 2019

Dear Edinburgh City supporters,

Time to write to you again.

As I write this, we have made some more incredible progress here at the Club. Not only are we doing incredibly well in the League, we are leading the division as I pen this, we have also made significant strides in the Cup competitions this season as well. Whilst we exited the William Hill Scottish Cup in the Third Round stage, you must remember who we were up against…a top notch divisional rival in Falkirk. Losing to them was a bitter pill to swallow but I was very proud of the boys’ efforts in both games. We gave it everything for you.

The team have been splendid, and I reserve a lot of praise for my new signings who have come in and really hit the ground running for us. They have come in and bought into the existing fabric and work ethic that we have established. This is a sign that you will agree that when you join a club like ours, you are coming into a little community where everyone looks after each other and works as one. We certainly do not believe that there is no “I” in team that’s for sure.

Naturally because of our success on the pitch, we can be braced for bids to come for our players but we will be doing everything we can retain that player’s services. Take for example captain Blair Henderson if you so wish. Blair was the subject of some serious interest from Falkirk, but we moved heaven and earth to talk with him and his agent and persuade him that he should sign a 2 and half year extension to his contract here.

I’ve been the subject of speculation myself as you know. I make no secret of it here that I have been approached by Premiership side Motherwell to take over there, in fact they interviewed me for the job just after Christmas. If they appoint me then I will certainly leave you with a really heavy heart but if they don’t then you are to be assured that I will be doing whatever I can to make this Club a bigger success story than what it is so far.

Edinburgh City has been wonderful for me, as a rookie manager still learning the ropes (even though this is my second season here) then you have been a breath of fresh air. You have taken me to your heart and you will always have me in it. I do have some ambitious plans for the team should I be with you at the end of the season and we achieve yet more glory. However, these will be disclosed at a more appropriate time.

Continue to back the Lads to success on the pitch, after all we are all Edinburgh City – loud and proud to be.

Yours in football,

Mark

The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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January 2020 Preview


https://i.postimg.cc/QC4cCJfk/FM19-January2020-Fixtures.png


Another short month as the second half of the season gets into full swing.

After the Winter Break, we're back in action on the first Saturday in January. We host Brechin at Ainslie Park and they're a side whom we have had some decent success against this season. A comprehensive 4-0 home win in the second game of the season was added to with an equally impressive 3-1 win on our first visit there. Hopefully we can continue in the same vein and add yet another win to the records as we push for an unexpected second successive promotion.

The following week, we're at home again. This time we host Dumbarton who have dispensed with the services of John "Yogi" Hughes as I do this preview. They actually wanted me to interview as his replacement but I actually declined it as it would be a backwards step by joining a club in the same division. We've done well against them too, and here's hoping we can keep the proverbial Indian Sign over them.

Had we won in the Third Round against Falkirk, we would have been in the Scottish Cup for the third Saturday in the month but that exit has given us a week off before we finish January with yet another home game. Ironically that pits us against Falkirk of all teams. They seem to have had our measure recently so nothing less than a A-Game performance will be needed if we are to beat them again. I still maintain they will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season when the promotion places are up for grabs, they're not the bookies favourites for nothing. Win this game and chances of silverware increase no end.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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Steve McClaren is new Well manager
2 January 2020

https://i.postimg.cc/Y0WtLp3n/stevemcclaren.jpg

Motherwell can today that they have appointed former England manager Steve McClaren as their new manager. The 59 year old Englishman has agreed a deal that will take him up to the end of the 2020-21 season and Steelmen fans will be chomping at the bit to see him in action at Fir Park. McClaren was the choice of the board who also interviewed Edinburgh City’s highly promising manager Mark Duell for the vacancy.

Well chairman Jim McMahon admitted McClaren just edged the vacancy due to his extensive international experience:

“I’m pleased today to announce Steve McClaren as the new manager of Motherwell Football Club.

Steve brings a great deal of managerial experience to the table which includes a spell as the English national team boss. He knows how to win from his time working with Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United and in the Netherlands with FC Twente Enschede where he won the Eredivisie ahead of Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord. We have been very lucky in our own respect to attract such a well known name here to Lanarkshire.

Motherwell interviewed many great candidates for this role including Edinburgh City’s highly rated manager Mark Duell who is doing great things with them in League One. I’m sure he will be landing a big role sooner rather than later.

However, we have landed Steve and look forward to working with him.”

McClaren’s first game at the Fir Park helm is on 18 January when the Steelmen face Brechin City in the Fourth Round of this season’s William Hill Scottish Cup.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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Megginson is a Doonhamer
5 January 2020

https://i.postimg.cc/Jh7S0mJQ/megginson.jpg


Queen of the South today have completed the signing of forward Mitch Megginson from League One Edinburgh City. The powerfully built front man joins the Doonhamers on a deal until the end of the 2020-21 season for an undisclosed fee.

Megginson admitted he always set his heart on a move to Dumfries when the interest became real:

“I’m very happy today to join Queen of the South.

As a footballer you are always looking to improve your game and make that career move that takes you up a level. This is what this move is about, it is certainly nothing about the money as some might think it is.

I am so grateful to Edinburgh City and their manager Mark Duell. They took a chance in bringing me in from Cove Rangers and have brought my game on massively. I was glad to sign off on a high note yesterday with them.

However, my focus is now with my new Club and I will be doing my best for them like I always have done so wherever I have plied my trade.”

Megginson has been given the number shirt 49 here at Palmerston Park.

You can buy a replica shirt with our new signing’s name and squad number at the Club Shop or in our online shop right HERE.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
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January 2020 Round-Up


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A short and sweet month with three home games played.

We began 2020 with Brechin back in town. Once we more controlled the game from the onset and made them look very ordinary indeed. Mitch Megginson gave us a 29th minute lead when he latched onto a superb Chris Humphrey pass and then fired an unstoppable shot past the visiting keeper. Two minutes later we were 2-0 ahead and cruising; Megginson with a deep cross to the far post where strike partner Blair Henderson had pulled away from his marker to nod home confidently. The game was over moments into the second half when we scored our third. Craig Thomson with yet another well flighted corner and central defender Matty Allan powered in the header. Daryl Healy did pull a consolation goal back for Brechin in injury time; but that was that and three more points garnered.

The game was also the final game for Megginson in an Edinburgh City jersey as he departed for Championship side Queen of the South the following day. It was a transfer that I couldn't stop, he had set his heart on it so who is to deny him. Keeping him here against his will leads to an unhappy player and due to the close knit team we have here, possible further unrest down the line with other players. Mitch scored 15 times in just 29 games for us. I wished him all the best, and made it abundantly clear he's welcome back anytime.

With a space now upfront, I turned to Josh Peters for our next game which was also at home when we hosted Dumbarton. Dumbarton, who as you recall, had approached me to take over from "Yogi": took the lead after just 6 minutes when David Wilson found the net. Perhaps they were trying tell me to leave Edinburgh still? Not a chance. Anyway we recovered from this early surprise to take control afterwards and run out convincing winners. We equalised in the 34th minute when Peters collected Kieran Stewart's through ball, shrugged off a defender, and smacked the ball into the net. Two minutes later we were ahead, a superb curling free-kick from none other than Thomson. We made it 3-1 with our third goal in nine quickfire minutes, Thomson with another corner onto the head of Henderson who headed in from six yards out. The rout was complete two minutes into the second half, a scramble in the Dumbarton penalty area and left-back Michael Kennedy got the decisive contact to force the ball home.

A week off meant we could recharge our batteries ahead of the final game of the month when we faced Falkirk again at Ainslie Park. After the disappointment of losing to them in the Cup, this was quite simply us wanting our revenge. In soaking conditions, we took the lead in the 37th minute when Stewart drove in a shot that beat the keeper at his near post. Falkirk levelled just after the hour when who else but Kevin O'Hara found the back of our net. The game was anyone's after that, who would net the all important next goal? Thankfully it came our way with just 14 minutes to go; a great team move ended with Humphrey firing a low shot home. Buoyed by this we completed a superb win with a third goal in the 83rd minute, Henderson was brought down in the area by Harrington and then picked himself up to fire the resultant spot kick right into the corner despite the keeper going the right way. An absolute belter of a result.

The league table at the end of January is as follows:

https://i.postimg.cc/Qx0bzYyf/FM19-January2020-2.png

Next Game Update: January 2020 awards
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January 2020 Monthly Awards

Manager of the Month:

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At last! The only manager with a 100% win record and my first at this particular level. Liking this award a lot....

Player of the Month:

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A well done to Kieran on picking up third place in this award. However, it's a second successive win for young Drysdale and he captured the Young Player of the Month award too.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
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Looking good for another promotion mate.
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Looking good for another promotion mate.

It certainly isn't looking too bad I agree bud. Might have to see what I can persuade the board to sanction if we do back-to-back promotions, I'm thinking of suggesting we go full time.

Alloa are the only semi-pro outfit in the Championship and they're bottom of the table. But we shall see mate, keep tuning in....
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February 2020 Preview


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Five more games which will continue to have a bearing on how our season will pan out.

February begins with an away trip to second placed Airdrie who have been bolstering their squad in the recent transfer window, and lie eight points behind us when we kick off. Should we win, the gap will widen to an even more astonishing 11 points and that'll be some deficit to be hauled in. We've done well against them so far this season, winning both games. I'm quietly confident that the team have more than enough about them to maintain this good run of form against a team that our closest challengers at the moment.

A second successive away game follows the week after, as we travel to Forfar Athletic. We've done well against them so far too but this won't be an easy game at all. They gave us a brief scare in the recent home game at Ainslie Park, and in Declan Drysdale a player who is certainly making people sit up and take notice. We need to be ready for it, but it's another game I feel we can win.

After two weeks on the road, we then have a couple of home games in successive weeks. This begins with a visit from Stranraer who start February in 10th and last place. it's a potential banana skin if you want to refer to it as such, we can't afford to be too complacent otherwise you know what will follow. A professional performance is needed. Then we host Arbroath the week afterwards, and they are one of the few teams we have had a few problems with. Twice we have played them so far and both games have ended 1-1, so they certainly know how to stifle us. It's about time we show them why we are where we are and why they aren't. A replica of the recent home win over Falkirk would be ideal.

The month ends with an away trip to Brechin City, another side we have done well against this season. If we play as well as have done so far against them this season then we'll be grand. Again, we need to avoid complacency. I can't stress it enough.

There will be just eight games to go after February is done with, it's all gearing up for an exciting conclusion that's for sure.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
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February 2020 Round-Up


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A hectic month with five games in the space of 28 days, can we keep up the unexpected challenge?

The month started with a trip to Airdrie, and you would have thought that they would be up for it considering they still have a slim chance for the title but at least a promotion play-off spot. However, we destroyed them again with a comprehensive win. They started off well with a goal in the opening 25 seconds when Gordon Watson, no not the former Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton and Hartlepool United striker, lashed the ball into the net. Our day got worse when left-back Michael Kennedy hobbled off after just 6 minutes with a twisted ankle sustained on a very wet surface; it would sideline him for the next 4 weeks! However, we regrouped and levelled in the 19th minute when Robbie Deas, a target of mine, diverted a Chris Humphrey cross into his own net. After that we controlled proceedings, and went ahead just after the half hour when a patient team move saw Andy Black drill home from the edge of the box.

The game was put beyond doubt after 71 minutes when another superb team move saw Danny Handling nod in a Liam Henderson cross at the far post; the winger had only been on two minutes! Then the icing on this cake was added five minutes later when skipper Blair Henderson headed in another well flighted Craig Thomson corner kick. A superb away win indeed!

A goal fest followed the week after at Forfar and for one player it was a game he wasn't to forget. That player was former Forfar striker Josh Peters, and it was he who put us two goals to the good within seven minutes of each other. First he opened the scoring in the 20th minute when he latched onto a long free-kick, catching his old side napping, to finish via the far post then some superb vision from skipper Henderson picked him out to volley in after 27. Dylan Easton pulled one back four minutes after that second goal and scored a second of his own nine minutes into the second half to level proceedings. We were wobbling for sure. The lead was regained in the 72nd minute when Handling crossed for Peters to nod down to Black to strike from six yards out. Eight minutes later we were 4-2 ahead; Graham Taylor with a fine cross from the left and Kieran Stewart headed in from close range. Experienced midfielder Terry Masson pulled one back for Forfar after 82 minutes but we secured the win after 87 when an another delicious assist, this time from Handling, saw Peters pull away from his marker and head in our fifth and his hat-trick goal.

Struggling Stranraer were next in a home game at Ainslie Park, but there was no way they appeared to be a struggling side as they really gave us a fright indeed. Ian Smith gave them a fifth minute lead from the spot after Matty Allan was adjudged to fouled Mark Ness in the area. They were though reduced to ten men in first half injury time when Liam Callaghan was dismissed for a late two footed lunge on Stewart; a dangerous tackle indeed. They were frustrating us and it looked certainties that we would on the end of a shock defeat until we somehow pulled victory from those jaws of defeat with two late goals. In the 88th minute, Handling squeezed the ball through to skipper Henderson who directed it into the net. They were stunned and you could sense the heads dropped after that as we piled on the pressure. The winner came five minutes into time added-on, we actually played EIGHT, and it was another superb free-kick from Thomson that did it. We certainly got away with that one!

One of our bogey sides would follow as Arbroath would come visiting and it was about time we beat them after two consecutive 1-1 draws. We got off to a flyer with a goal after just seven minutes; Thomson flighted in a free-kick and Liam Henderson was on the end to head home. Early in the second half, we doubled the lead. Substitute Calum Hall, on for injured Taylor, fed Stewart and he drove the ball home with a nice long range shot that left the Arbroath keeper helpless. We secured the win in the 74th minute when Handling hammered one in from the edge of the area that went in off the underside of the bar. Craig McIntosh pulled one back for the visitors with six minutes to go but it was just a consolation as we made it eight wins on the spin.

We concluded the month with a trip to Glebe Park to face Brechin. Unlike previous encounters, we didn't have it all our own way as the home side showed some resistance in defence and dangerous in attack. In the 22nd minute, we took the lead. Thomson with the corner, Peters with the nod down and then Black with the volleyed finish. However Kyle MacDonald's first goal for Brechin levelled matters just ten minutes before the half time break. Neither side could find a winner, but our main concern was with skipper Henderson who came off after just 11 minutes with some kind of knee injury. Hopefully it won't be too serious.

Latest table is as follows:

https://i.postimg.cc/SKJ02ZBN/FM19-February2020-2.png

Next Game Update: February 2020 Awards
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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February 2020 Monthly Awards

Manager of the Month:

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Just like buses, you wait for one and then two come along at once. Well pleased with this one.

Player of the Month:

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It's a double celebration as Andy scoops the Player of the Month award, and so well deserved as he has been an outstanding performer in central midfield. Brechin's Mark Fotheringham, who bagged 6 goals in just 5 games won the Young Player of the Month gong by the way.
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March 2020 Preview


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A short, but yet again, all important month of games. If results go our way then who knows right?

We start with a tough home game against Montrose. They are really improved since we first played on the opening day, and in Michael "Harry" Potter they have a striker that can really hurt you as we know too well as he has scored a few against us. We will need to mark him tight and subdue as well as turning a performance in all areas of the pitch. One slip up and we could be done like a kipper, it might give those chasing a glimmer of hope that we are wobbling and nerves kicking in.

Another home game follows seven days later when we host Clyde. They have had a pretty up and down season since getting promoted alongside us, but they're just on the fringes of the play-off spots as we start March, We don't need to go into the game feeling it's won already. Guard against complacency and we will beat them, but it could be a case of roll ones sleeves up and battle for the points. We need to be up for it.

Struggling Dumbarton host us in the final game of March after a fortnight's break. They're battling for their League One lives at the moment, and I'm fully expecting a hard game. Again we need to avoid complacency if we are to avoid the banana skin which is in front of our eyes. Three points, and no less, is required.

Who knows where we will be after this, eh?


The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
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Clarke seething over Penrice snub
2 March 2019

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Steve Clarke is not a happy man.

The Hibs chief is apparently very disappointed with the development of young goalkeeper Gregor Penrice who is on loan at nearby Edinburgh City. City are on the verge of a second successive promotion but that's not washing with the Easter Road boss. Clarke had this to say:

"I'm not really happy about this situation to be honest.

I loaned young Gregor to Mark (Duell) and Edinburgh City to gain the wee lad some experience and development. They said they would play him but at the moment, that has seen absolutely zero appearances attached to his name. It's nothing short of disgraceful actually.

I grant that they are challenging for a title and they have to keep a settled line up, but surely the lad can have a chance in a game that means nothing at all? Edinburgh and Mark should be hanging their heads in shame at this. One kid is suffering for someone's else favouritism, and in football these days you can't act like that."

Edinburgh City refused to comment on this, but there was good news for them when skipper Blair Henderson's knee injury is not as bad as it was initially feared to be. The 24 year old, who limped off after just 11 minutes in City's 1-1 draw at Brechin, has just twisted his knee and will be out for a week which means he will miss Saturday's game at home to Montrose. Scott Shepherd and youngster Regan Lumsden are in contention to replace Henderson alongside Josh Peters but who knows who will get the nod.


The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
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March 2020 Round-Up


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A short month but a very defining one at that.

The month began with a final meeting this season with Montrose. We had beaten them convincingly on the opening day but since then they have had the upper hand against us with Michael Potter, whom they acquired on loan from Dunfermline, scoring goals for fun against our defence. This game would be no different whatsoever, but it was also not the best game for one's heart rate either. Now if you were a complete neutral though, it was brilliant entertainment.

This game started horrendously for us as we went two goals down in the first 17 minutes, a real wake up call. Strikes from Lewis McCann and Hearts loanee Jamie Brown (his first for them) did the damage and we were looking that we suffer a massive home defeat unless we bucked our ideas up. And buck our ideas up we did. Six minutes after that Brown goal, we pulled one back when Josh Peters got that all important touch onto a low Danny Handling cross. However, we went into the half break 3-1 down as Potter scored his first of the afternoon. However, the real craziness was to come in the second half. We had to make a change at the interval when Handling advised us he was struggling with a shin injury so we sent Scott Shepherd, who had played a lesser role this season, on as substitute. Youngster Regan Lumsden stayed up front with Peters.

Eight minutes into that second half, we were back within one goal as Peters scored his second of the match following a well worked team move. Then it got crazier, a minute later we levelled. Andy Black set up Shepherd and he literally hammered one into the roof of the net. Surely that was the end of the madness? Er, not quite. In the 58th minute we had two more goals, one for each side. First of all we went ahead for the first time when Graham Taylor pulled the ball back for Kieran Stewart to volley home but seconds later Potter's second of the game made it 4-4. Could anyone grab a winner? Well with six minutes to go Montrose went ahead again when Potter completed his hat-trick. Surely no way back now? I just gambled and went for broke, we had to. In the fifth minute of seven minutes added on, the unthinkable happened. Shepherd provided the delivery and Taylor somehow got his head onto it first to put it into the net. A remarkable ending to an absolutely remarkable game.

With results going our way, we were on the brink of something special and it could all unfold in front of our own fans the week after when we hosted Clyde. The Bully Wee have been awkward opponents in the past and so it proved as it took us until the 41st minute to break them down. It was a move that started deep in our own half but ended with Peters unselfishly setting up Lumsden who broke a personal goalscoring drought with a confident finish. I was told after the game, it was his first goal in 11 months! Some terrific team work led to the second goal in the 55th minute, not one but three players harried the Clyde left-back so much that he played his pass straight to the feet of Peters who drilled it low into the corner. The party really started in the 70th minute when Peters nodded a Craig Thomson corner down and Handling netted with assistance from the post.

Twenty minutes later, the final whistle sounded. And it meant one thing: EDINBURGH CITY WERE LADBROKES LEAGUE ONE CHAMPIONS! What a feeling, and done with six games to spare.

A fortnight after that incredible game, we finished March off with a trip to Dumbarton. Confidence was still high, whilst our hosts were still scrapping for survival. It took us all of 2 minutes to open the scoring; Taylor latching onto a loose ball to confidently put it into the net. Our much changed side, I had given young keeper Gregor Penrice his debut whilst Calum Hall was given a first start of the campaign after some promising substitute appearances, went 2-0 ahead in the 48th minute. Stewart weighted a pass into Lumsden and the youngster obliged with a superb finish for his second in as many games. Liam Brown pulled one back just after the hour but we stood firm and recorded a yet another win.

The table at the end of March read as follows:

https://i.postimg.cc/NfNvLZdS/FM19-March2020-2.png
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Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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It's party time for City
16 March 2019

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It's May 2016 and Dougie Gair's penalty has promoted Edinburgh City to the Scottish League for the first time since the original team played its last season in 1948-49.

However when Steven Finnie shrilled his whistle at 4:45pm on Saturday afternoon, yet another chapter was completed in this fairy tale. City had been crowned as League One champions at their very first attempt at that level and will be plying their trade in the Championship come August. And it is all down to the rookie manager they brought in at the start of July last year. Hartlepool born manager Mark Duell is the man that has made all this happen and he's certainly making waves in the Scottish capital. City are just one step away from joining their more illustrious neighbours Hearts and Hibernian in the Premiership. No wonder if you meet a City fan these days, they will tell you what a fantastic job the Englishman is doing.

Crowds are on the up too. City are averaging nearly 700 fans a game into the stadium they share with Spartans and who can bet against this increasing next season.

Goals from youth product Regan Lumsden, Josh Peters and former Hibs winger Danny Handling were enough to see Clyde off on Saturday in front of 652 fans and for almost 93% of them - it was the cue for the massive party to begin. Even injured skipper Blair Henderson was in the crowd, and his joy was unbridled at the end:

"This is absolutely unbelievable, it really is.

When I first joined City in the summer of 2018, I thought I was joining a club that had a bit of potential about them. Now here I am, I'm going to be playing in the Championship next season. Life certainly doesn't get any better than this. We wouldn't have achieved this without Mark though. Ever since he arrived, he's been a breath of fresh air. Training is fun, he makes it so and you just have to buy in if you want to be successful.

I really do wonder what special things are around the corner next. It means the world to us and maybe we have proved that there is more to Edinburgh football than just Hearts and Hibs right now."

Chairman Jim Brown said "It's a special day for special people" but the mastermind behind it all was a bit reserved when we told him how much people place the success on his shoulders:

"I really sometimes believe in fairy stories, perhaps this is just one of them.

It's a great achievement in completing a second successive promotion and a second title too. it's not just me though, despite what you have probably been told. I couldn't have achieved this with the support of Chairman Jim, after all he took a risk in appointing me, and also my superb backroom team headed by Marc (Wilson) my assistant manager. The players have been awesome too, they have done everything we have asked of them and more.

It's more for these people, I just literally drive this bus."

That bus shows no way of breaking down at the moment, but the biggest challenge is yet to come: can they keep the driver at the wheel? If these last two years are to be believed, they might a massive job on to do just that as his stock rises day by day. Until that day comes, City can party like the best.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
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