Conor O'Keefe relief at first Elgin City goal, and manager Gavin Price hopes there's more to come from the winger
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AN ironic standing ovation in the Elgin City camp greeted Conor O’Keefe’s first goal for the club at Montrose on Tuesday.
The flying winger burst through to net City’s opener in their 2-0 Betfred Cup success at Links Park.
Having joined the club from Annan in the summer of 2019, O’Keefe scored one of the quickest hat-tricks ever seen at Borough Briggs in a pre-season friendly against a young Aberdeen side.
But injury ruled the Glasgow-based player for three months, and though he returned to fitness in the second half of the season, he failed to find the net again.
His breakthrough strike came from a perfect through pass by Andy McDonald, with O’Keefe showing a great touch and a calm, curling finish to open the scoring in Angus.
Josh Peters marked his City debut with his side’s second goal before half time, a ferocious finish high into the net after his initial header came back off the bar.
City manager Gavin Price revealed how O’Keefe’s goal drew an amusing reaction from his team-mates, and hopes it is the catalyst for a greater scoring contribution during the season ahead.
“There was a sarcastic round of applause for him after the game from the players for getting his first goal,” Price said. “I think that kind of tells its own story.
“With his pace and the fact that he can finish, Conor needs to provide us with more goals from that area of the park.
“He is well aware of that and he’s more than capable of doing that so hopefully this can kick him on to a better goal return this season.
“He certainly provides us with plenty threat and he did so last season with his pace and what he does to the opposition teams.
“If he can add the goals to that, it would put him on to a new platform as a player for us.”
Price said his team recovered from a shaky start to put in a sparkling display which put them top of their Betfred Cup group.
“It was a really pleasing performance. We were under the cosh a wee bit but we settled into the game .
“We’ve just got to put the League Cup to the back of our minds now and focus on the league.
"We’ve got four or five important league games before the cup comes around again."