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Elgin City 1 East Fife 3: Black and Whites defeated by Fifers on opening day

By Jonathan Clark

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ELGIN City's League Two campaign got off to a poor start this afternoon with a 3-1 home reverse at the hands of East Fife.

A first half brace from Scott Shepherd had the Fifers 2-0 to the good, before a goal on the hour mark from Scott Mercer wrapped the game up.

Darryl McHardy bagged what proved to be a consolation goal with 15 minutes to play.

City manager Gavin Price was disappointed with his side's performance and hinted that there will be more action in the transfer window.

Elgin City assistant manager Jim Weir and manager Gavin Price.
Elgin City assistant manager Jim Weir and manager Gavin Price.

"It was not what we had hoped for for the first game at home," Price said. "We didn't do enough to deserve any more.

"The two goals we lost in the first half were pretty criminal from a defensive point of view.

"We had a bit more spark about us after half-time but we needed to get the first goal in the second half and left ourselves too much to do.

"We have got to move on from this quickly. We've got to work hard to get players in and galvanise the squad a little bit."

East Fife started the better of the two sides – almost going in front on the quarter hour mark when Alex Ferguson knocked over on the stretch from six yards.

There was bad news for City after 20 minutes as winger Dylan Lawrence limped off – with manager Price later confirming that he is expected to spend a number of weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

Elgin City's Dylan Lawrence in action against St Johnstone. Picture: Beth Taylor
Elgin City's Dylan Lawrence in action against St Johnstone. Picture: Beth Taylor

East Fife's opening goal quickly followed. Jevan Anderson lost a 50-50 in the middle of the park, which led to an East Fife attack – culminating in Brogan Walls' cross being tucked in at the near post by Scott Shepherd.

Jake Dolzanski's downwards header from a Russell Dingwall corner was turned over the bar by Matthew Cooper as City looked to respond.

But it was the visitors who went 2-0 ahead before the break as miscommunication at the back between Dolzanski and goalkeeper Daniel Hoban allowed Scott Shepherd in to lob the ball into an unguarded net.

Things improved for City at the start of the second period as Brian Cameron's lofted through ball was lobbed a yard wide of the post by Kane Hester.

But City were caught out from a corner just before the hour mark as a low ball towards the penalty spot was fired home by Scott Mercer, through a crowded box and via a touch from Hoban.

It seemed like game over at 3-0, but Hester again went close just after East Fife's third, firing a shot from a central position into the ground which bounced inches wide.

Darryl McHardy – who spent much of the game operating on the left side of defence – gave City some brief hope when he headed in Russell Dingwall's corner at the back post.

But there was to be no great comeback as City went down to defeat.

Price added: "Some goals you take your hat off, if you've been done by good play.

"But we let the ball come into the box for the first one, the second one you are tearing your hair out with the way it has happened and the lack of communication, and the third goal we had a block put on us and we haven't dealt with it.

"It's hugely disappointing in terms of the goals we lost but we have to recover. It's one game into a 36-game season so we have got to make sure we respond in the correct way."

City are away to Stirling Albion in league action next Saturday.

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