Elgin City striker Kane Hester is determined to reach his target of 20 goals in a season as soon as possible after netting all four of his team’s strikes in the Scottish Cup romp over Camelon.
The 27-year-old equalled his previous best tally of 19 for a campaign with his quadruple salvo on Saturday, having twice reached that mark in a complete term for the Black and Whites.
A missed penalty and several other spurned opportunities could have seen Hester hit the 20-barrier at the weekend – but he expects to hit his milestone soon.
“Scoring 20 has been a hoodoo for me, so hopefully I can get it next week then move on to the next target,” he said.
“It was nice to get four but I know I should have had more.”
— Scottish Cup (@ScottishCup) October 23, 2022
Hester struck a first half hat-trick and also saw a spot kick saved by Camelon keeper Darren Dolan, before offering an apology to his team-mates.
He said: “It was a good save but it was a rubbish penalty.
“I said sorry to Russell Dingwall, who normally takes them but it was just me wanting my hat-trick at that stage.
“That won’t be happening again. It will be him back on the penalties in the future.”
Hester also scored four times at Borough Briggs in the recent league win over Annan and manager Gavin Price admitted his star striker’s clinical edge is the focal point of his preparation for matches.
“We worked this week on the goals we’ve scored this season, how we score them and what we’ve done to create the chances,” Price revealed.
“When you have a striker like that you’ve got to play to his strengths, but not be over-reliant on it.
“Kane scored all four goals and he provided that threat, but he will probably say himself that it could have been a few more.”
There was a recall for Tom McHale in the home goal in place of Daniel Hoban, who had held the number one shirt for the past few weeks.
Elgin dominated possession from the off with Darryl McHardy and Rory MacEwan getting early shots on goal blocked.
It was no surprise when the home side opened the scoring on ten minutes, Hester punishing slack defending to fire home a Russell Dingwall cross.
MacEwan had a goalbound effort blocked for a corner but City were camped in the Camelon half and added a second goal on 24 minutes.
This time Dingwall threaded Chris Antoniazzi in on the left and his driven cross was bundled home by Hester.
Hear from our boss Gavin Price following our 4-0 victory over Camelon Juniors in the Scottish Cup second round!
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) October 22, 2022
The striker was fouled in the box on 35 minutes for a penalty which he took himself, but keeper Darren Dolan sprang to his left to deny Hester his hat-trick.
Right on half time Hester did get his third with another close range finish following a slick move involving Dingwall and Brian Cameron.
Camelon started better in the second half and should have reduced the deficit on 48 minutes when Keiran Anderson broke clean through but scooped the ball high and wide of the far post.
Anderson also forced McHale to make his first save from the edge of the box, while Hester wasted three clear opportunities in front of goal as Elgin chased more goals.
With 19 minutes left Hester got his fourth, beating the offside trap to Angus Mailer’s through ball and his shot had just enough power to go under the keeper and trickle in.