Record victory dedicated to Elgin City fan
ELGIN City boss Gavin Price dedicated his team’s record-equalling victory to one of the club’s most loyal supporters.
City recorded their fifth win in a row by defeating Annan Athletic 4-0 at Borough Briggs, a feat they had achieved just once before in 20 years of Scottish League football.
Before the game, a minute’s silence was observed as a mark of respect to one of the Elgin City Diehards’ supporters’ group, Alan Stuart, who passed away last week.
A banner was held up by the home fans in memory of their colleague and Price said the win was for the long-standing Elgin follower.
“That was a fitting tribute to him. He was a good supporter of the team home and away who the players all knew and we’d like to dedicate the victory to him.”
A terrific Elgin start paved the way for what was a very convincing win over an Annan side who have been a thorn in the Black and Whites’ side over the years.
Looking for their tenth victory at Borough Briggs in less than a decade, the Galabankies were blown away by a whirlwind Elgin effort early on.
With less than three minutes gone, Daniel Mackay showed great trickery on the left and his cross fell to captain Brian Cameron, who whacked it home from the edge of the box.
It was the third game in succession where Cameron had netted the opening goal of the contest.
City refused to rest on their laurels and Cameron threaded a pass through to Rabin Omar, who fired across the keeper to score against his former club.
Just five minutes in, Elgin were two goals to the good.
It got even better for Price’s boys when top scorer Shane Sutherland’s header hit an Annan arm and ref Matthew MacDermid pointed to the spot on 24 minutes.
Sutherland stepped up to score for the sixth game running, making it 19 goals in 20 games this season.
Caley Thistle loan winger Mackay made a goal-line clearance from an Annan attack, then moments later missed a gaping goal when he should have struck his team’s fourth of the afternoon.
Kane Hester also went close while Sutherland guided a powerful effort which keeper Chris Smith touched round the post.
Elgin finished the half with nine corners and countless goal attempts, and a 3-0 lead to defend.
Annan did have the wind at their backs in the second half and had chances to pull one back, not least when Tommy Muir forced a Tom McHale save and Ayrton Sonkur looped a header over when he should have scored.
Any lingering doubt that City would secure full points were eased on 61 minutes when Annan were reduced to ten men.
Steven Swinglehurst halted Hester’s run into the box and was shown a straight red, but Sutherland failed to add his 20th of the campaign from the spot when Smith saved.
A fourth home goal did finally arrive five minutes from time and it was the pick of the bunch.
Omar found space 25 yards from goal and floated a delectable effort over Smith’s head to heap further misery on his old team.
Sutherland forced a brilliant Smith save just before the end, meaning his 20th strike of the season will have to wait until another day.
But Elgin’s fine efforts were not confined to their flowing attacks, as their back four showed great determination to keep the clean sheet and McHale flung himself at Nathan Flanagan’s near post drive to deny the south side even a crumb of consolation.
If the Black and Whites are to entered uncharted territory by recording a sixth consecutive win for the first time at this level, they will need to do it at title-chasing Edinburgh City next weekend.
On current form, it is a mission well within City’s capabilities of accomplishing.
Elgin: McHale; Cooper, Bronsky, McDonald, Spark; MacKay (Sopel 87), Dingwall (McHardy 84), Cameron, Omar; Hester (MacEwan 74), Sutherland.
Subs: Loveland, Wilson, Aitken, Hoban.
Annan: Smith; Douglas, Sonkur, Swinglehurst, Ballantyne; McLean (Watson 84), Bradley, Wilkie, Flanagan; Muir (Currie 74), Holt (Nade 27).
Subs: Walker, McLear, Griffiths, Mason.
Referee: Matthew MacDermid