Elgin City slumped to their fifth successive defeat against bottom of the league Cowdenbeath at Central Park to leave the Black and Whites in an increasingly precarious position in League Two.
The 2-0 defeat leaves Elgin ninth and six points above Cowdenbeath but having played three games more than the Blue Brazil.
Elgin attacker Rabin Omar said: “That was a must-win game for us but we can’t keep giving teams a goal of a start like we did.
“We’ve conceded early goals in our last four games and we gave ourselves another uphill battle.
“We tried to break Cowdenbeath down after we had fallen behind but we just didn’t have the cuttting edge.
“I felt I should have had a penalty in the first half when I was fouled right in front of goal.
“I was just about to pull the trigger when their player grabbed my shoulder and pulled me down. Everyone in the ground could see that it was a penalty except for the referee and linesman.
“A few decisions like that have gone against us lately but we can’t keep blaming referees – its down to us as players. If we don’t score goals then we can’t win games.”
Here is the team lineup for todays match against @CowdenbeathFC
Come on City! 🖤⚽️ pic.twitter.com/eM2jeRj8Uq
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) February 19, 2022
City endured the worst possible start to the game when they fell behind in the opening minute, Cowden’s Fraser Mullen netting from the penalty spot after Robbie Buchanan had been upended in the box by Matthew Cooper.
They battled hard to recover from this early setback and tested Cammy Gill on several occasions as the first half progressed, the home keeper saving well from Omar, Russell Dingwall and Matheus Machado while Omar was denied what appeared to be a clear penalty when his shirt was tugged by Cowden defender Scott Dunn as he prepared to shoot.
At the other end, the underworked Daniel Hoban was rarely called into action but the Elgin keeper did produce an excellent save to block a powerful shot from Alex Ferguson on the half hour and he again came to his team’s rescue shortly after the break when denying Cowden’s Andy Barrowman.
Elgin continued to pressurise the home goal in the closing stages, almost levelling when Darryl McHardy’s header was tipped over the bar by Gill but Barrowman secured victory for the Fifers, making it 2-0 with a stoppage time strike.
Elgin boss Gavin Price said: “Once again, we’ve made a bad start to the game, it really put us on the back foot.
“I thought we responded ok and pressurised Cowdenbeath for long periods of the game.
“Recently we’ve been ahead on the stats, such as shots on goal, possession and territory but we’re not winning games.
“We’re not getting enough balls into the box, we’re not being positive enough in the final third of the pitch and that’s what’s costing us.
“It’s something we’re going to have to work on. We’re in a dogfight now and we need to start getting results.”