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Stranraer 2-0 Elgin City: Boss Gavin Price disappointed as side finish ninth in League 2

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

Elgin City manager Gavin Price felt his side lacked sharpness in both boxes as a last-day 2-0 loss at Stranraer saw them slide to second bottom spot in League 2.

With Stirling Albion winning 5-0 against fourth-placed Edinburgh City and Albion Rovers beating Cowdenbeath 1-0, the Moray club finish their League 2 season in ninth position.

It means they complete a poor campaign eight points above basement side Cowdenbeath, two points behind Albion and five points away from Stirling.

The disappointing result at Stair Park maintained sixth-placed Blues’ unbeaten record against Elgin this season, with three wins and one draw overall.

Price made two changes to the team which slumped to a 4-1 home loss against Cowdenbeath last week.

On-loan Aberdeen defender Evan Towler replaced sidelined stopper Matthew Cooper, while Josh Peters came in for benched forward Kane Hester.

Penalty put hosts Stranraer in front

Stranraer got their noses in front with a penalty on 63 minutes when Yates tucked away a spot-kick for his 10th of the season after James Hilton was taken down in the box.

 

The second goal came for Stranraer with five minutes left when Sam Ellis knocked the ball into the net at the back post.

Price felt his players were not sharp enough to ensure they took the lead when on the front foot and were punished by not shutting their opponents out when it mattered.

He said: “The game really turned on the first goal again. I don’t think we started the game brilliantly, but after about 20 minutes until the hour mark, we were in control and created a lot of good chances.

“Again, we didn’t take our opportunities when we were on top and the first goal has been costly.

“It’s a poor way to sign off the season. It wasn’t a poor performance, but in both ends of the park we’ve not been clinical and that’s what’s needed to win games.”

No argument over spot-kick opener

And Price had no complaints about the penalty which put Stranraer in front.

He said: “Ross Draper got caught on the wrong side of their striker and could have reacted better to stop the ball coming into the box and we’ve suffered the consequences because the first goal, as they often are in this league, was so important.

“Their second goal came from a set-play when we didn’t defend the back post and ended up losing the game.”

Elgin have to respond next season

Just a year after missing out in the play-offs by losing to Edinburgh City, Price knows his side, with some new additions over the summer, must get back to the right end of the division next term.

Price has a summer of work to do, reshaping his pool of players and making them more competitive from the off.

He said: “We have got to look forward now. We have to make sure the players who are staying as well as those who come in will be a team which challenged at the other end of the table next season.”

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