Elgin City midfielder Thomas Reilly fired home a wonder strike to wrap up his side’s victory against nine-man Cowdenbeath in an incident-packed encounter at Central Park, the goal taking his tally for the season to four, twice as many as he recorded in the previous campaign.
“The manager is looking for me to get forward and score more goals,” said Reilly. “I originally set myself a target of beating last season’s figure but I’ve well and truly surpassed that now.”
Elgin looked to be in control of the game thanks to two first-half strikes from Brian Cameron but Reilly’s magnificent 20-yard effort, midway through the second half, killed off any hopes the Blue Brazil, already down to 10 men, held of clawing their way back into the game. Although the Black and Whites lost a late goal through sloppy defending, the end result never appeared to be in any doubt.
“To be honest I didn’t have time to think about it,” said Reilly as he reflected on his goal. “Someone tackled me and there wasn’t time to take a touch. It just sat up nicely for me to hit it.
“All in all a good win for us. This is a difficult place to come to. Cowdenbeath are a good side and it’s a surprise that they’re not further up the league. I’m sure things will change for them at some stage.
“We could have won by more in view of the chances we had but their goalkeeper made some fantastic saves.
“The result keeps us in the mix for a play-off position. No matter what we do we always seem to be fifth in the table. It’s that type of league where everyone is capable of beating each other.”
The writing was on the wall for struggling Cowden early on as Reilly tested keeper David McGurn with a powerful fourth-minute drive and Elgin surged in front four minutes later, Cameron beating McGurn from the penalty spot, after Jamie Piper had upended the lively Bruce Anderson.
Elgin were forced into an early substitution when defender Lewis Strapp was carried off due to a head injury following clash with Cowdenbeath’s Jordan Garden, who was booked by referee Gavin Ross for his part in the incident.
Cameron recorded his second of the afternoon just before half-time and, although the Fifers appeared fired up after the break, their hopes were dashed when Fraser Mullen was shown a straight red card for using foul language towards the referee. Elgin sealed a convincing victory with Reilly’s stunning 67th before Cowden were further hampered by the dismissal of David Syme after the midfielder’s second yellow card.
Substitute Harvey Swann pulled one back for the Fife side late in the game.