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Ross Draper irked by penalty decision but admits Elgin City were ‘too soft’ in Bonnyrigg Rose defeat

The Borough Briggs were beaten 5-1 by the League Two leaders.

Elgin City's Ross Draper. Image: SNS.
Elgin City's Ross Draper. Image: SNS.

Elgin player-manager Ross Draper criticised referee Scott Lambie’s pivotal penalty decision but admitted his side was “bullied” during their 5-1 defeat by Bonnyrigg Rose at New Dundas Park.

For 40 minutes, Draper’s containing tactics were successfully frustrating the home side until the referee ruled that Bonnyrigg full-back Neil Martyniuk had been fouled in the box by City’s Nathan Cooney.

Martyniuk converted the controversially-awarded penalty to open the scoring.

Draper said: “That was never a penalty in a million years.

“For me, it was a clear dive. No doubt about it, but the referee was quite quick with the whistle.

“Our plan was to compete and stay in the game at 0-0 and then shoot downhill in the second half.

“We’re too soft, to be honest, and we spoke about that as a group for 20 minutes after the game.

“If someone strikes it in the top corner from 40 yards, then you’ve got to applaud that, but we only had ourselves to blame.

“We need to be more aggressive in a controlled manner. Bonnyrigg were cute and streetwise and we got bullied.”

While the visitors were still reeling from Rose’s disputed penalty opener, they promptly conceded a second goal shortly before half time when Josh Grigor headed home.

Draper brought on Mitchell Taylor and Ben Barron in a bid to get back in the contest, only for a quick-fire double from Reis Peggie and Smart Osadolor to put the home team out of sight within four minutes of the restart.

Russell Dingwall pulled one back from the spot, but Martyniuk’s second penalty, deep into stoppage time, catapulted Bonnyrigg to the top of League Two and demoted Elgin from seventh to ninth, with only East Fife below them on goals scored.

Draper said:Β  “I keep beating the drum and repeating myself week in, week out.

“I want to see us passing the ball and being good on the ball.”

With no wins from their first five league fixtures, next weekend offers a welcome change of scene as City visit Championship Morton in the third round of the Challenge Cup.

That means another long trip south, but Draper added: “We’re used to that, so it doesn’t faze us.

“It’s a good opportunity for some of the boys to put themselves in the window and stake a claim for a place in the team.”