Elgin title hopes dented after controversial decision

Gavin Price, right, took over from Jim Weir in October.

Chris McLeish believes Elgin City’s League 2 title challenge was left in tatters after Forfar escaped punishment in a controversial flashpoint at Borough Briggs.

The former Janefield Swifts juniors forward felt he was denied a great chance when Loons defender Jamie Bain knocked him over as he bore down on goal with City leading 1-0.

Elgin’s management felt it was a clear red card offence and referee Graham Beaton’s decision came back to haunt the hosts when Bain delivered the cross for Jim Lister’s leveller.

McLeish said: “For the foul on myself, their lad was the last man. I’ve certainly seen them given, but it wasn’t to be.

“I saw the ball coming over my shoulder and he just bundled me over.

“I don’t know if it’s a coming together or if he meant to foul me, or whatever.

“But I could have got the ball. It could have been a big turning point in the game because I felt I could have got our second goal.

“It was a big decision.”

McLeish admitted Elgin may now, at best, be aiming for the play-offs, rather than the League 2 championship crown.

But he feels he should be contributing more in terms of goals than the 10 he already has for the club he joined from the Tayside juniors last summer.

He said: “It’s probably the play-offs now.

“You never say never but it looks that way.

“We should have won today to put a bit of pressure on Forfar and Arbroath.

“We’re hoping Shane Sutherland gets back from his knee injury quickly as he’s a big loss because of the amount of goals he has got us.

“But I should be getting more.

“Myself and Craig Gunn are trying to find the net more often with Shane not playing.

“I’ve got 10 in all com-petitions and that’s all right in my first season but it should be more with the chances I’ve had.

“It was a tough game and always was going to be against a good side like Forfar but I thought the lads did really well.

“I’m just disappointed we never got the three points.”

The draw meant Forfar clung on to top spot in the table.

Despite a string of midweek injuries at Cowdenbeath, Elgin were able to name a strong side for the visit of the leaders.

The north side drafted in former Rangers defender Ryan Sinnamon as a trialist on the bench.

Four minutes after the break, Elgin took the lead when centre back Darryl McHardy headed in an Archie Macphee corner at the back post.

Visiting defender Bain might have had an escape when he appeared to impede City attacker McLeish on a run to goal, having already been booked.

Referee Beaton’s decision to wave play on had a bearing minutes later when Bain crossed for Lister to head home Forfar’s equaliser.

Elgin held the upperhand in the closing stages but couldn’t find the winner to close the gap on the leaders.