Elgin City 3 Cowdenbeath 0: Perfect start to season for City
ELGIN City got their Scottish League Two campaign off to the perfect start with three goals, a clean sheet and a comfortable success against Cowdenbeath at Borough Briggs.
Goals from Shane Sutherland either side of half-time and Euan Spark gave City a well-deserved three points.
Manager Gavin Price praised his players, especially for their start to the second half. He said: "It was a great start to the second half, and that's where we won the game.
"We have had a habit of not starting second halves well but they were really at it and we got what we deserved with a great second goal.
"We were better than Cowdenbeath and deserved to win."
But it wasn't all straight forward – as physical visitors Cowden made the first half a real battle.
The first chance fell the way of Matthew Cooper, deployed as a right midfielder, as he rattled the post, via the keeper's fingertips, after a neat one-two with Sutherland.
Cowdenbeath made huge appeals for a penalty on 33 minutes, claiming Michael Herd's goal-bound strike had come back off a City arm, but nothing was given.
Elgin led at half-time thanks to Shane Sutherland. It wasn't the cleanest shot City's number ten has ever hit, but it squirmed through Cowden stopper Kevin Dabrowski, against the post and in. And it came at the perfect moment.
City went in elated, with Cowden deflated. And it showed at the start of the second period.
The Black and Whites stormed out of the traps and killed the game stone dead within ten minutes of the restart.
Connor O'Keefe's cross was nodded across goal by Cooper for Sutherland to tap home his second from close range for 2-0 after 48 minutes, and the game was all over two minutes later.
Russell Dingwall's pinpoint free-kick from the right-hand side was nodded home at the back post by an unmarked Euan Spark for 3-0.
It went from bad to worse for Gary Bollan's visitors on 54 minutes as a high challenge from Herd saw him given a straight red card by referee Chris Fordyce.
That ended the game as a contest, but Hester went close again two minutes later as his fierce shot was parried high and grabbed by Dabrowski.
Cowden held their own a man down and substitute Harvey Swann's whipped free-kick drifted just wide.
Sutherland went close to grabbing his hat-trick on 78 minutes but poked inches wide after neat play from Hester.
Little did it matter, as City had already wrapped the game up and given themselves the perfect start to what is promising to be an exciting campaign.