Gavin Price was delighted with the spirit shown by his Elgin City side after watching them twice come from behind to win their first Premier Sports Cup points by defeating East Fife 3-2.
With both sides well off the pace in terms of qualification, this game was in effect a dead rubber.
But both appeared determined not to end the campaign propping up the group which made for an entertaining 90 minutes.
In the end it was Price’s men who were standing tall, doing enough to collect all three points and put a spring in their step ahead of the league campaign starting on Saturday against Stranraer.
East Fife took the lead after just a couple of minutes when Kevin Smith collected Liam Watt’s pass and lashed a stunning effort high above Daniel Hoban.
But Price’s men weren’t behind for long, and hauled themselves level when Angus Mailer’s overhead kick beat Scott Gallacher.
👋 Good Morning Black and Whites,
Start your morning off right with this top-corner free kick from @Tony_Dingwall, our match winner yesterday 👏
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) July 25, 2021
Neither side really dominated the opening half, the Fifers possibly just edging it.
They went ahead again when Connor McManus netted from the spot after a handball inside the Elgin box.
Resilient Elgin showed their fighting spirit and got level before the interval when Kane Hester latched on to a long through ball and gave Gallacher no chance.
A couple of minutes after the half time break Elgin got ahead for the first time in the game, Tony Dingwall’s excellent free kick finding the top corner.
Price was pleased with his side, but conceded he’d like to have seen them start the game better.
“I thought we were fortunate to be on level terms at half time, defensively we were a bit of a shambles,” said the manager.
“But we have strikers who can be brutal on the counter attack so managed to get on level terms.
“We were always dangerous and creating stuff and it was a much better performance in the second half.
“I’m happy with the character of the team, we showed that because we didn’t start the game well at all and lost an early goal.
“But the players worked hard and got the win.
“We know what Kane Hester is all about and then we have a bit of quality from Tony.
“We had chances to put the game to bed and I thought we were comfortable towards the end.
“It’s important to get a result and performance going into next week.
“We needed it because it was a hard group.”
Mailer admitted he doesn’t score overhead kicks often, but said it was crucial the side got the victory ahead of the league campaign kicking off.
The 23-year-old said: “We showed a bit of character.
“We’ve had a few set backs and conceded after five minutes but then go and get a quick goal back.
“With the wind in the second half, we knew if we pressed higher we could punish them and we did that with Tony’s free kick
“We were solid at the back and kept a good shape.
“It was important we were solid in the second half because we knew they would want to come out and win the game.
“That’s the first overhead kick I’ve ever scored I think!
“It just fell to me and I tried to help it in – I’ll need to see it back again and I also felt I should have had another one in the second half.
“Now we can take these positives into Stranraer at home next week.”