Stirling Albion steal stoppage time victory at Elgin City in SPFL League 2 clash
A STOPPAGE time Stirling Albion winner consigned Elgin City to their third consecutive defeat.
Josh Peters’ close range finish punished City hesitancy and led manager Gavin Price to accuse his players of poor match management as three vital league points slipped away.
Stephen Bronsky’s 73rd minute header cancelled out Dylan Bikey’s first half opener for the Binos, with Elgin then pushing hard for a winner which instead came at the other end of the park.
“We’ve got to manage games better. It was too gung-ho in the second half,” he said.
“We got to one-all and we are attacking, and yes, we want to get the winner but we’ve always got to make sure we don’t give away so much space.
“One point at the end of the day was not going to be a disaster for us.”
Price named an unchanged line-up from the 3-1 Scottish Cup defeat against Alloa with Rabin Omar back from suspension but made to settle for a place on the bench, as was Caley Thistle loan winger Daniel MacKay.
Elgin’s first sniff of goal saw the ball worked to Kane Hester in space in the box but just as he lined up a shot, a superb Jordan McGregor tackle thwarted him.
Home keeper Tom McHale had to deal with a deflected Sean Heaver drive a few minutes later.
Too many City passes were missing their intended target and Stirling looked more organised and a greater scoring threat.
There was no excusing Elgin’s sloppy defending on a quickly taken Paul Willis free kick which led to Bikey firing Stirling ahead on 33 minutes.
Heaver wasn’t far away with a low shot before the break, ending what was a disappointing half for the Moray side.
Six minutes after the break Elgin had a glorious chance when Matthew Cooper’s challenge released Shane Sutherland and he weaved into space before forcing a fine save out of Blair Currie low to his left.
It took until the 73rd minute for City to get back on level terms, Bronsky arcing a header over the Stirling keeper from Russell Dingwall’s free kick on the left.
Suddenly the home side were in the ascendency and three minutes later captain Brian Cameron should have put them ahead.
Shane Sutherland’s precision pass put the midfielder clear in the box and he showed great control but not precision with his finish which trundled against the base of the post.
Stirling were not content with a point and both teams went for broke.
It was Binos’ sub Peters - who scored the winner when the teams last met at Forthbank - who struck in stoppage time, having come on as an 83rd minute sub.
He reacted quickest to Heaver’s deflected drive which spun into the goalmouth and an instinctive stab at the ball sent it into the net with what proved to be the last kick of the ball.
City defender Bronsky couldn’t hide his disappointment after the joy of his scoring contribution was wiped out at the death.
But he believes it is a good thing his team have another game on Tuesday as they make the league trip to Stenhousemuir.
“It does not let us dwell on this result and what happened,” he said.
“It’s straight back into it on Tuesday and we know we need to get the business done.”
Elgin: McHale; Cooper, Bronsky, McDonald, Spark; MacEwan (Omar 63), Cameron, Dingwall, O’Keefe (MacKay 57); Hester (Aitken 82), Sutherland.
Subs: McHardy, Sopel, Wilson, Hoban.
Stirling: Currie; McGeachie, McLean, McGregor, Thomson; Willis (Docherty 73), Jardine, Wilson, Bikey (Banner 57); Heaver, Mackin (Peters 83).
Subs: Truesdale, Scott, Wright, Binnie.
Ref: Grant Irvine