Elgin City captain Euan Spark could miss the rest of the season after suffering a fresh injury blow against Forfar Athletic last weekend.
Defender Spark was making his first appearance since returning from a groin problem, having not played since the 2-1 loss to Stenhousemuir on January 29.
Only 11 minutes after replacing Evan Towler as a substitute against the Loons, Spark suffered another setback.
That has cast Spark’s involvement in Elgin’s eight remaining games this season into doubt, with manager Gavin Price disappointed to be without his 25-year-old skipper.
Price said: “Euan took a bad injury on the knee after coming on.
“It was nothing to do with the injury he had, but he went into a tackle and took a bad injury which will possibly end his season.
“We miss Euan’s character on and off the pitch, and in training.
“He’s the captain for a reason, and has a great, positive attitude.
“We will miss that undoubtedly, but there are other players who are definitely stepping up to the mark at the minute.
“Matthew has come in and taken over the captaincy, and he has been a real leader in the last couple of games he has been back.”
Hoban has grasped chance between sticks
Although Spark will miss this weekend’s trip to Annan Athletic, Price is hopeful of having on-loan Cove Rangers defender Ross Draper back in contention.
City goalkeeper Daniel Hoban received plaudits following the 0-0 draw against the Loons, which ended a run of six games without a clean sheet.
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) March 8, 2022
Hoban has played Elgin’s last four games, in place of Englishman Thomas McHale.
Price feels 23-year-old Hoban, who began his career with Caley Thistle, has reaped the benefits of strong competition with McHale throughout the campaign.
The Elgin boss added: “Daniel has come on very well. There has not been too much between him and Thomas all season.
“He has taken his opportunity with Thomas out of the team, after he missed a couple of games through work commitments.
“I’ve got to be fair to Daniel – he has taken his chance.
“I think he’s improving in every game he’s getting a run in the side.
“It’s a blessing of having two good goalkeepers. Thomas has been in good form, and now Daniel is in good form.
“I’ve got to be fair to both of them, but I think the challenge has been good for both of them. It has brought the best out of both of them.”