Elgin City manager Gavin Price felt his team should have buried Stranraer as they had to settle for a share of the spoils.
The Borough Briggs boss led Stranraer 1-0 at the break thanks to a goal from defender Darryl McHardy before the Blues earned a point with a reply in the second half from Grant Gallacher.
👏 | THANK YOU
A big thanks to the 405 fans who were in attendance yesterday at Borough Briggs. All kept to the social distancing requirements as well.
Another step closer to normality.
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) August 1, 2021
Elgin then went on to have the best of the rest of the match, but could not find a winner.
Slow start was costly – Price
Price said: “We did enough in the last 20 minutes of the game to win more than one game, given the chances we created.
“We didn’t start well, or start the second half well either. That cost us and let them back into it.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t transfer that possession and chances in the last 20 minutes into putting the ball in the back of the net. We had five or six clear cut chances.
“Stranraer were hanging on a bit, but they had their chances as well. It’s not as if it was one-way traffic, far from it, but the last 20 minutes was.
“I don’t think Stranraer had good chances as such, but they had good possession in our half in the first half. We changed the shape a wee bit and that seemed to work. We ended the first half well and took the lead.
“We need to address that slow start this week. We need to make sure we’re ready to go in games. We won’t get away with it too often.”
Price reckons his players will have to consider why they let a good opportunity slip by allowing their visitors back into the contest.
He added: “We should have stamped our authority on the game and taken it to Stranraer, but we were a wee bit in our shells at the start of the second half. We were a bit passive in the way we were playing and that’s cost us two points.
“Credit to the players for how we ended the game. If we’d got the (second) goal, they’d have got a pat on the back, but we didn’t get the goal, so they’ve got to look at why we didn’t get the three points.”
Fans deserved to see winning opener
Striker Kane Hester, meanwhile, agreed that the side paid the price for not making strong play turn into goals.
He said: “We’re disappointed and the fans will be disappointed. I think we have to take how we played in the last half hour into next week and hopefully score more goals.
“Having the fans in makes a massive difference. They kept us going in the last 20 minutes and hopefully when we have them back here again in two weeks, we can deliver something better for them.”
Hester has bagged 19 goals in the last two campaign and is targeting the magical 20 this year.
And he feels that City have got to live up to the expectation of the supporters, who were back for league football in good numbers at the weekend.
He added: “As a team, the play-offs and upwards are what we’re aiming for. That’s what the fans expect and it’s what we expect. We have got to deliver it.”
Added quality for promotion push
Creag Little and Harry Nicolson have been added to shore of the back-line this season and Hester said overall the side is shaping up well.
He said: “They are two solid defenders. The boys that have joined the club have added to the team and are doing well. I think we’re improving on last season. Hopefully we can show that.”
Kick off here for the first game of the season ⚫️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/tueZq6dXEy
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) July 31, 2021
City are away to Cowdenbeath this Saturday, a side who began their campaign with a 2-0 defeat at Kelty Hearts.
Hester knows what to expect. He added: “It will be a battle, but we need to get the ball on the deck, play football and hopefully go down there and get a result.”