The St. Andrews Saints visited Edinburgh City last Saturday in the second game of the Scottish Premiership.
Looking to bounce back after a tough loss to Glasgow University the previous weekend, Edinburgh City started the game with a lot of energy. Their first possession of the game lasted for several minutes, but ultimately produced no scoring opportunities. The Saints proved much more effective on their first possession of the game, drawing an Edinburgh penalty and taking the lead on the ensuing man-up off a shot from Hugo Francis. Edinburgh soon bounced back, with Marty Crawford and Bret Retallick scoring goals 40 seconds apart to give Edinburgh the lead, but St. Andrews’ Teddy Disalvo responded in kind, scoring two quick goals to put the visitors up 3-2 after the first.
The back-and-forth game continued in the second quarter, as Marty Crawford and Chris Wood scored in the first five minutes to put the Gentlemen back up by one. The Saints took two consecutive time-outs to regroup and replace their injured goalie Owen Fitzgerald (2 saves), and this gave St. Andrews back the momentum.Returning to his natural position in goal, attackman Teddy Disalvo (7 saves) proved to be unbeatable for more than a full quarter, turning away several point-blank shots, and Xandy Walsh took advantage of a lucky deflection late in the half to tie the game up at 4-4.
Xandy scored again a minute into the third quarter, and Hugo added his second 13 seconds later to give St. Andrews a sudden 6-4 lead. Edinburgh’s defence pulled itself together, however, and held off the Saints’ attack for the rest of quarter. The St. Andrews defence showed itself to be just as strong, until Bret finally solved the Saints’ goalie on a close feed from Lee McCrohan late in the quarter to cut the Saints’ lead in half.
The Gentlemen continued to have problems scoring for most of the fourth quarter, but Edinburgh’s goalie Devin Oliver (11 saves) made several big stops to keep the deficit at 1. With 5 minutes left in the game Bret and Lee connected on the exact same play as the previous goal to tie the game once again. On the very next possession, Lee grabbed the rebound from a quick shot and scored to give Edinburgh back the lead. Nick Duncan-Price won the following crucial face-off, but an aggressive St. Andrews defence forced the ball out of bounds deep in their own zone. Greg Scott pressured the Saints’ defender on the restart and forced a clearing pass, which Lee intercepted and put into an empty net to give Edinburgh its first two-goal lead of the game. St. Andrews’ Pat Monahan managed to score once more with 40 seconds left, but Nick once again won a key face-off for Edinburgh and the Gentlemen killed off the remaining time to earn a hard-fought 8-7 victory over last year’s Premiership winners.