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Stirling Albion 0-2 Elgin City: Gavin Price looks to next season after securing SPFL status

Steven Mackay, left, alongside Elgin City manager Gavin Price.
Steven Mackay, left, alongside Elgin City manager Gavin Price.

Elgin City boss Gavin Price was relieved to see his side secure their SPFL status with a victory at Forthbank and avoid a potentially nervous end to the season.

City were all but certain to avoid bottom spot but went into the weekend needing a point to be sure. They got all three against Stirling Albion and Cowdenbeath – who visit Borough Briggs this weekend – failed to beat Edinburgh City in any case.

Second-half goals from substitute Rory MacEwan and Matthew Cooper earned Elgin their fourth straight Forthbank success and moved them above Albion Rovers into eighth place. It was a 10th home league defeat of the season for Stirling – the worst record of any SPFL club.

Price, whose team made it four shut-outs in the last five games, said: “It’s not been an easy week (after losing to Stenhousemuir) because we just wanted to secure safety and now we want to finish as high as we can.

“We looked a bit nervy in possession in the first half and we talked about that at half-time. Rory MacEwan has come on and got the goal. Angus Mailer had a yellow card in the first half and we also felt there was an opportunity in the middle of the park to control possession and that’s more Rory’s game.

“It’s pleasing to get the two goals because, to be honest, there wasn’t an awful lot in the game. We have taken our chances, although Kane Hester missed one at the end.

Elgin City defender Matthew Cooper, left.
Elgin City defender Matthew Cooper, left, was on target for the Borough Briggs men. 

“We want to finish the season well and use it as a springboard for next season. Our aim was to be in the play-offs this year but we have been too inconsistent and had problems with key players. We will regroup and we really want to make up for what has been a stuttering season.”

The first half produced almost nothing of note, with barely a decent chance created as both sides gave the ball away on a regular basis, not helped by a dry, bobbly pitch.

Elgin made the breakthrough in 52 minutes, when the ball broke to MacEwan and the midfielder – who recently signed a new two-year deal – thumped a shot beyond Blair Currie.

Daniel Hoban made a good save from an Adam Cummins header and the Binos had a penalty shout waved away when Ross McGeachie went down in the box before City sealed the win in 78 minutes.

The home defence failed to deal with a cross into the box, a shot was cleared off the line and right-back Cooper drove the rebound into the net for 2-0. Hester should have added a third goal late on but sent his effort wide.

Binos boss Darren Young, whose side are now only a point ahead of Elgin, said: “The players know it’s not good enough and that’s why we are in this position in the league. We had done really well in our previous three games, including at Kelty last week, but we can’t seem to beat Elgin.

“I don’t think Elgin had a shot on target in the first half and we looked very comfortable. There was nothing in the game in the second half either, but the goals we lost were criminal. We were not ruthless enough in either box although we were denied a stonewall penalty.”

 

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