VIDEO: Broadwood blow to City's promotion bid
TWO defeats in a week have left Elgin City’s play-off hopes hanging by a thread – but assistant boss Keith Gibson won’t admit defeat.
Saturday’s damaging 4-1 Hampden loss against Queen’s Park, followed by a 2-0 defeat at Clyde on Tuesday night means City trail fourth-laced Annan by 11 points with just seven games to play.
It will take a minor miracle for the Black and Whites to remain in the promotion shake-up, yet there is no white flag being waved by Gavin Price’s number two.
Gibson said: “It doesn’t look great but until it’s mathematically impossible you’ve got to keep going. There’s 21 points to play for.
“It’s looking like we’ll have to win all of our games and hope that Annan slip up. It’s going to be a really tough task, we know that but we will keep fighting.”
Elgin still have to play Annan at Borough Briggs a week on Saturday, and the Galabank outfit visit Clyde tomorrow before making the long journey up to Moray.
“Potentially if we win on Saturday, Annan get beat and then we beat them the week after we would be five points behind with five games to go. We must go on with that kind of thinking rather than just give up.”
A defensive reshuffle was forced upon Price and Gibson, with centre back Darryl McHardy’s succession of yellow cards eventually adding up to a two-game ban which came into effect for the Queen’s Park and Clyde games.
In addition, Stephen Bronsky had been playing through injury in recent weeks and although he battled through the pain barrier at Hampden, the plastic pitch at Broadwood was a step too far for the stopper.
“It doesn’t help going from having a settled back four to being forced to make changes,” said Gibson. “But the players we brought in wouldn’t be at the club if we didn’t think they were good enough.
“James McGowan has been waiting for his chance for a long time but he’s
not played a lot of minutes so it was always going to be tough for him going into a game at Hampden against a decent team. That’s no excuse, it was all over the park where we weren’t good enough.
“On Tuesday night we had to make big changes. Callum Wilson came in at right back and did very well, and at times David (Wilson) and Coops (Matthew Cooper) playing against possibly the best striker in the league (David Goodwillie) did well. It was a sore one to take on Tuesday in terms of the chances we created ourselves.”
City took the lead at Hampden through Ross County loan striker Ross MacIver, before the Spiders levelled a minute. In a five minute spell of the second half, David Galt scored a hat-trick to seal Elgin’s fate.
Two Clyde goals either side of the break at Broadwood put another nail in City’s challenge.
Tomorrow Elgin host Albion Rovers with McHardy back but Bronsky likely to sit out. Rabin Omar plays this weekend, before serving a two-game ban.