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Elgin City all-but-safe in League Two after taking point from Albion Rovers stalemate

Elgin City manager Gavin Price.
Elgin City manager Gavin Price.

Elgin City all-but-secured their place in League Two next season with a 0-0 draw at Albion Rovers.

A precious point claimed from an uninspiring goalless stalemate, coupled with Cowdenbeath stuttering to the same scoreline against Stirling Albion, means Elgin are 12 points ahead of the Blue Brazil with four matches left – including a clash between the sides at Borough Briggs on April 23.

Although only the most extreme pessimist would say City were still under threat, just a point next weekend at home to Stenhousemuir – even if Cowden beat Annan Athletic – would confirm Elgin’s mathematical safety from the relegation play-off which has seen Berwick Rangers and Brechin City drop out of the SPFL in recent seasons.

Manager Gavin Price was quick to dispel any notion his side would down tools and coast for the rest of the season with little left to play for.

“Our thoughts turn towards trying to get ahead of Albion Rovers and getting ahead of Stirling Albion”, Price said. “We want to finish in the league as high as we possibly can.

“We are playing well just now and the last half-dozen games. I am optimistic and we can enjoy the last four games and try to finish as high up the league as we can.”

Elgin should have taken the lead at Cliftonhill early in their tussle as striker Kane Hester was played clean through on goal, but the onrushing figure of Harry Stone was too large an obstacle for the striker to negotiate.

The Moray men were able to stifle the Rovers attack with a solitary header from Blair Malcolm the only real foray forward from the home side to test the nerves of the away defence.

The points looked certain to be making their way back north with 15 minutes remaining as Brian Cameron was able to guide his effort under Stone, but Sean Fagan ghosted in from nowhere to clear the midfielder’s effort off the line.

With Elgin’s place in the league all-but-assured, Price admitted he now has one eye on the future, with the aim of improving on a season he feels has been below the standards expected at the club.

Noting the particular challenges Elgin’s location on the map brings in terms of strengthening from one campaign to the next, he added: “I have a great affinity with the club. I enjoy what I do. And we are looking to build for more of a challenge next season.

“In the last half-dozen games, we have shown where we should be. We have had more than our fair share of mishaps this season in terms of long-term injuries to key players; certain things that have gone against us during the season.

“It has always been a challenge. It is one of the hardest teams to manage, in terms of geography.

“Realistically, we can’t train together all the time. It is a challenge, but it’s something we are used to.

“It’s not a hard sell (to play for Elgin) when people know the club. It’s probably one of the best-supported teams in the league playing part-time football. It’s up there.

“It’s a great atmosphere up at Borough Briggs. It’s a great setup. The club looks after players. It’s an easy sell sometimes, and sometimes you just have to lie about the distance.”

 

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