Elgin City 1 Forfar Athletic 0: Missed penalty not costly as managerless Black and Whites continue League 2 recovery with important victory
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Elgin dug deep for a battling victory over Forfar to move five points clear of bottom spot.
With Ross Draper once again in interim charge of the team following Barry Smith’s shock exit, City continued their solid home form.
Draper named an unchanged starting line-up for the third game running.
They made a strong start with Ryan MacLeman testing keeper Marc McCallum and Matthew Cooper firing over.
The opening goal arrived for the home side on 13 minutes. Liam Harvey hoisted a free kick into the box and there were faint claims for a penalty amidst the aerial joust, but the ball ran out to MacLeman on the left side of the box and he crashed a low drive across McCallum into the far corner of the net.
City should have doubled their lead two minutes later when they were awarded a penalty, Ross Draper felled by Finn Robson on the edge of the box.
However, Robert Jones’ kick down the middle was comfortably pushed to safety by McCallum.
Josh Skelly fired a 30 yard free kick over for the visitors while Rory MacEwan tried his luck from similar distance for Elgin, a deflection taking it wide of the target for a corner.
The final chance of the first half fell to Forfar on 38 minutes from a Callum Moore free kick which dropped on the half volley for Mark Whatley but he struck inches wide of a stranded Tom McHale’s left hand post.
Forfar brought on midfielder Kieran Inglis for stopper Adam Hitchinson and went three at the back in pursuit of an equaliser.
Inglis wasn’t far away with a 30 yard dipper just five minutes after coming on.
McHal;e then dealt with a long range Moore strike as the visitors began to gain more possession and territory.
McHale did well to push away Euan Mutale’s 20 yard strike on 72 minutes, and moments later Mutale took a superb touch from Robson’s diagonal ball but the Elgin keeper saved at his feet.
Caley Thistle manager Duncan Ferguson was in the stand to watch his son Cameron, who came off the bench for Forfar on loan from Newcastle for the last 15 minutes.
Loons centre back Andy Munro crashed a fierce effort inches wide from 35 yards as City tried to hang on.
Solid home defending preserved the home lead until the final whistle.
Elgin: McHale; Cooper, Dolzanski, Ewan, Taylor; Cameron, Draper, MacEwan; Harvey (Cairns 81), Jones (Barron 76), MacLeman.
Subs: Cooney, Dingwall, McKenzie, MacInnes, Cruickshank, King.
Forfar: McCallum; Allan, Munro, HUtchinson (Inglis 46), Brindley; Whatley (Thomson 61), Morrison, Robson; Moore, Skelly (Ferguson 74), Mutale (MacLeod 74).
Subs: Nditi, Watson, Paterson, Paris.
Referee: Andrew Gamble