Gavin Price celebrated his imminent fourth anniversary as Elgin boss with a first away win of the season in League Two at Ochilview on Saturday.
Defender Darryl McHardy’s early goal and a late winner from midfielder Russell Dingwall saw the Black and Whites jump two places to sixth, ending a run of four games without a victory since beating Albion Rovers at home last month.
“Sometimes when things haven’t been going well, it’s even more pleasing to get a hard-fought win like this,” said Price, who completes four years in the job this Friday.
“The boys rolled their sleeves up and did the ugly things well. We made sure we defended their set-pieces and our own penalty box, and we carried a threat on the counter-attack. It’s always great to come away from home with all three points.
“We got the early goal through Darryl but then sat back a bit and Stenhousemuir were the better team in the first half. The second half was better from us.
“We defended well enough, but we weren’t good enough in possession. We know we can play better than we did today, but we showed real character to win that game.
“We were 30 seconds away from beating (leaders) Kelty Hearts (earlier this month), so it was good that we managed to see this one out.
“There’s a very long way to go this season, but I’ve been in this position many times before and we’ve always found our way out of it. (Second-placed) Stirling Albion at Borough Briggs this Saturday will be a tough game.”
While Price’s time in the manager’s hotseat is dwarfed by Jim McInally’s ten years at Peterhead, Price’s longevity makes him one of the longest-serving bosses in Scottish football.
“I’ve had four years as manager but seven years in total, as before that I was assistant manager with Jim (Weir),” Price pointed out.
“I’ve been very happy at the club, and hopefully there’s many more years to come.”
Saturday’s possession stats were unflattering for the visitors, but City proved ultra-efficient in front of goal, finding the net with two of their three efforts on target.
The first of those was McHardy’s close-range header from an Archie Macphee corner kick after barely four minutes.
Elgin almost doubled their lead three minutes later, but they were always under pressure and Stenny defender Nicky Jamieson equalised with just over 20 minutes left with a goal uncannily similar to McHardy’s.
As against Kelty, City faced having to settle for a 1-1 draw after being pegged back, but this time Dingwall’s trickery and composed left-foot finish gave them a 76th-minute lead which they successfully clung onto.
Full time here as Elgin take all 3 points back up the road thanks to goals from Darryl McHardy and Russell Dingwall ⚫️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/BsfMIX20X3
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) September 25, 2021