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Elgin stung as Wasps hit back for Scottish Cup victory

By Craig Christie

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FOR the second week running Elgin City tasted cup defeat as they crashed out of the Scottish Cup to Alloa.

Rory MacEwan scored his first Elgin City goal but his team-mates couldn't hang on as they went down 3-1 to Alloa in the Scottish Cup. Photo: Bob Crombie
Rory MacEwan scored his first Elgin City goal but his team-mates couldn't hang on as they went down 3-1 to Alloa in the Scottish Cup. Photo: Bob Crombie

The Championship side, who City beat in the Betfred Cup on penalties this season, overturned a home lead at the break to win 3-1 at Borough Briggs.

Elgin manager Gavin Price was left to reflect on what could have been, with Alloa’s three goals all coming in a disastrous quarter-hour period for his team at the start of the second half.

“It was a great first half performance but we just had an absolute nightmare of a 15-minute spell where we've been the architects of our own downfall,” he said.

“It’s having that wee bit of nous to manage the game better, it’s maybe the reason why we’ve not picked up more points in the league this year.

“We’ve got to learn, these little aspects are something we need to work on with the players. Yes we are a good footballing side but we’ve got to know at times how to make sure we get the most out of a game.”

Alloa manager, former Celtic and Scotland star Peter Grant was complimentary towards his League 2 opponents.

“Elgin have been excellent, I watched them at Raith last week and I thought they played very well and were very unfortunate,” he said.

“They never give up and tactically they are very well organised. The players know what they are doing and it’s a good mixture of players, so we knew it was going to be a tough game for us.

“It was a potential banana skin for us because of their qualities. They are a credit to their league.”

Elgin were without loan trio Daniel MacKay, Matty Aitken and Daniel Hoban while Rabin Omar was suspended following his red card in the Challenge Cup defeat at Raith last Friday.

Home keeper Tom McHale was in action very early on as he had to palm away Kevin Cawley’s curling effort from outside the box on two minutes.

McHale also had to deal with a close range Liam Dick flick from an Iain Flannigan corner on six minutes.

Elgin’s first sniff saw captain Brian Cameron power in a shot from the left side of the box which former Hearts keeper Jamie MacDonald did well to save at full stretch at his near post on 18 minutes.

But the home side didn’t take long to go in front as Rory MacEwan won possession midfield and swapped passes with Kane Hester before advancing to crack a low finish inside the far post on 25 minutes.

Four minutes later a fine MacEwan cross from the right went across goal and Shane Sutherland slid in to turn it goalwards, forcing MacDonald into a terrific reflex save.

McHale dealt with a long range Iain Flannigan shot before the break but City were decent value for their 1-0 half time lead.

A poor start to the second half saw Elgin’s good work undone by two Alloa goals in the space of ten minutes.

Firstly Scott Taggart smashed home a great drive after McHale had parried Kevin O’Hara’s initial effort.

Then on 57 minutes the Elgin keeper allowed a low 22 yard drive from Cawley to skid over his diving arms and into the net.

Six minutes later it was 3-1 when Elgin gave away possession and Kevin O’Hara set up Alan Trouten in front of goalfor a shot which McHale saved but O’Hara knocked in the rebound.

McHale denied O’Hara soon after but the visitors looked comfortable with their lead.

The best chance for Elgin to reduce the deficit came when sub Darryl McHardy broke clean through on goal but was also thwarted by the experience of MacDonald in the Wasps goal.

Elgin: McHale; Cooper, Bronsky, McDonald, Spark; MacEwan (McHardy 68), Cameron, Dingwall, O’Keefe (Wilson 82); Hester, Sutherland.

Subs: Loveland, Sopel, Hay, Thomson, Kelly.

Alloa: MacDonald; Taggart, Deas, Graham, Dick (Gilhooly 55); Cawley, Robertson, Thomson (Buchanan 66), Flannigan; O’Hara (O’Donnell 79), Trouten.

Subs: Gillespie, Henry.

Referee: Scott Lambie

Att: 668

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