Harsh words spark second half Elgin revival in cup
IT took a half-time "rocket" to spur Elgin City on to a 3-1 William Hill Scottish Cup win over Berwick on Saturday.
City are safely in tomorrow's third round draw but were made to work for their win by a dangerous Berwick side.
An early Brian Cameron goal was countered by an equaliser and a 1-1 scoreline at the break which angered the home management team.
Tough words may have sparked a much improved second half show by Elgin, and goals by strike pair Kane Hester and Shane Sutherland to claim the win.
"Our play was slow, we were a bit laboured and Berwick probably deserved their equaliser," said City assistant boss Keith Gibson.
"Once we got them in at half time and kind of gave them a wee rocket up the backside, we got that reaction we wanted for the second half so that was pleasing."
Cameron fired home on four minutes after a Hester drive was blocked into his path, and Elgin were expected to take control from there.
But Hester missed a good chance to make it 2-0 and Berwick grew into the match, levelling through Lewis Barr's finish on 32 minutes.
The Borderers had other decent opportunities, opening up the possibility of a shock result at Borough Briggs.
But Hester restored the home advantage on 48 minutes in typically dynamic style, stealing the ball off a defender and sliding it through his legs to run round the other side and smash a drive into the net.
Elgin had plenty chances to kill the tie off but sub Darryl McHardy headed against the bar while Rabin Omar smacked a 25-yard effort off the post.
Both Berwick keepers - the starting Mark Walters had to be replaced by Sean Brennan through injury - made saves before Sutherland side-footed home an Omar centre on 78 minutes to seal the victory.
It was Sutherland's 16th of the season, seven ahead of strike partner Hester who is once again finding his scoring form at an important stage of Elgin's season.
Elgin will be Moray's only representatives in the third round, as Buckie Thistle lost 2-0 at Bonnyrigg Rose on Friday night and Rothes were beaten 3-1 at home to Inverurie Locos.
Brora Rangers thrashed Clach 7-0 to advance, Fort William earned a 1-1 draw at Albion Rovers and a replay while Formartine United will do it all again in the Borders, as they were held 2-2 at home by Gala Fairydean Rovers. Strathspey Thistle lost 2-0 at Stirling Albion
In the Highland League, Forres Mechanics made it three wins in a row with a 4-1 success at Huntly, with Robbie Duncanson scoring twice.
Deveronvale won 2-0 at Lossiemouth, Nairn beat Wick 1-0 and Fraserburgh were 4-0 winners over Keith.