Two rapid goals helped fire Elgin City to a valuable 3-1 League Two win over Stirling Albion at Borough Briggs as their promotion play-off dreams drew closer to reality.
First-half strikes from Aiden Sopel and Russell Dingwall barely a minute apart then a Brian Cameron tap-in put City in control, meaning Dylan Bikey’s late reply didn’t threaten the victory.
The result leaves City in third spot and level on points with second place Edinburgh City, who lost 2-0 to champions Queen’s Park with Stirling Albion in fourth but also on 35 points, having played one game more.
The Black and Whites shot into the play-off equation in style on Tuesday with a rapid 4-1 rout at Stranraer, with three of those goals coming within 10 minutes and the fourth arriving soon after.
Home manager Gavin Price kept the faith with that dazzling starting 11, making no changes, while his opposite number Kevin Rutkiewicz fielded only four of the same starters who lost 2-1 against champions Queen’s Park on the same night.
Elgin had taken four points from six against the Binos this term as well as scoring a 2-0 win over them in the Betfred Cup away back in October.
Stirling had the first real opportunity when Jack Leitch cleverly fed play to darting Andy Ryan, but goalkeeper Thomas McHale reacted smartly to save with his feet.
The purple-kitted visitors had to make an early changes when injury saw Keiran Moore and Andy Ryan replaced by Scott Roberts and Dylan Bikey respectively inside the first 15 minutes.
Quick-fire goals is the name of the game for Elgin this week and two arrived on 16 and 17 minutes.
Firstly, Matthew Cooper flighted in a free-kick and Aiden Sopel crashed a volley in off the post, giving Blair Currie no chance.
Stirling were reeling and were doubly so on 18 minutes when Currie, after saving a Kane Hester drive, was beaten by a stinging follow-up goal by the in-rushing Russell Dingwall.
McHale used his feet again to deny Stirling on 29 minutes, this time blocking from substitute Scott Roberts. The visitors continued to probe for a reply but couldn’t find a killer touch where it mattered and Elgin were well organised.
It was job done on 64 minutes when Hester, within shooting range, lined up Cameron for the simplest of finishes.
Stirling got one back when sub Bikey supplied a no-nonsense finish from close range, but the hosts ran out worthy winners.
Elgin’s hectic schedule continues on Saturday with a trip to Edinburgh City before they host Queen’s Park in what might be a fascinating evening at Borough Briggs.
Full Time ⚽
Elgin City 3-1 @Stirling_Albion
Goals by Aiden Sopel, Russell Dingwall and Brian Cameron seal a crucial three points as we move back into the play-off places 🤩
Next up is a trip to the Capital to play Edinburgh City on Saturday
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) April 29, 2021