ROSS Jack hailed his team’s first scoreless league draw under his Elgin City managerial reign as an outstanding result in difficult circumstances.
City battled to a 0-0 draw at Berwick on Saturday despite playing almost 70 minutes with ten men.
Star midfielder Daniel Moore was shown what Jack described as a “very harsh” straight red card for a tackle which the manager said was not malicious or dangerous.
But Jack felt his team played superbly to thwart the home side and gain a fine point on the opening day of the Division 3 campaign.
“We defended excellently and John Gibson (Elgin goalkeeper) had a good save, but we had a couple of great breakaways with only ten men and could have won it,” Ross said.
“I thought the boys were outstanding when they had to battle with their backs against the way.”
The City boss was careful not to be too critical of Moore’s 22nd minute sending off, but said the decision caused amazement around Shielfield Park.
“I have to say it was very, very harsh on Daniel. All of our players actually thought it was a free kick for Daniel, and from where I was I didn’t view it as a sending off.
“We were just getting a foothold in the game and creating things through Daniel, and then he went for a 50-50 with their boy and to the surprise of most of the ground he was shown the red card.
Depending on the referee’s report, Jack fears he might even lose his key playmaker not just for an auomatic one-game ban but possibly for three if it is put down as violent conduct.
“I really don’t feel the punishment fits the crime, that’s for sure,” Jack said.
I was the first time Elgin had drawn a Division 3 match 0-0 since April, 2008 when they fought out a stalemate at East Stirling.
A total of 147 league games have passed since, the longest run of any British league club without a scoreless game.
Jack played the same eleven who lost 2-0 in the League Cup at Falkirk a week earlier, but included trialist Paul Harkins among his five substitutes.
Harkins, brother of Kilmarnock player Gary, is a 23-year-old former Queens Park midfielder who has been out of the game for the past couple of years due to injury.
Jack rates him highly, and is keen to see him in action before making a signing decision, wth the player likely to feature at some stage during Elgin’s first home league match against Stirling Albion next Saturday.
vStirling won their opening match in style, a 5-1 crushing of Annan, while Elgin find themselves on the same points as Rangers after the Ibrox giants escaped from Peterhead with a 2-2 draw thanks to a last minute equalizer.
Elgin: Gibson, Niven, McMullan, Cameron, Crighton, Wyness, Gunn, O'Donoghue, Leslie, Nicolson, Moore.
See Friday’s Northern Scot for the latest Elgin City news.