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WATCH: Elgin City await news on Kane Hester injury after injury time goal denies Borough Briggs goal victory at Cinch League Two leaders Kelty Hearts

By Craig Christie

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ELGIN City came so close to ending Kelty Hearts unbeaten start to league football - without star striker Kane Hester.

Elgin City forward Kane Hester has picked up a hamstring injury. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Elgin City forward Kane Hester has picked up a hamstring injury. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Hester missed Saturday's 1-1 draw in Fife after pulling his hamstring in training during the week - see Kelty Hearts TV highlights below.

The striker, who has scored seven goals this season, is being assessed at Tannadice by Dundee United ledical staff today to determine whether there is a tear in the muscle.

"With Kane we will just have to keep our fingers crossed that it’s not as bad as we first feared," said manager Gavin Price.

Price handed a debut to Ross County loan defender Tom Grivosti as part of a three-man central defence intent on fristrating a free-flowing Kelty attack.

Elgin City manager Gavin Price. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Elgin City manager Gavin Price. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

The plan worked well, with City limiting Kelty chances and taking the lead through Archie Macphee's first half penalty.

Grivosti was later substituted as a precaution, having not played football in over a year, and Elgin held their lead until stoppage time when Kallum Higginbotham scored to preserve the Fifers' unbeaten record.

"It was a great performance in terms of carrying out the game plan to frustrate Kelty Hearts and hit them on the counter," said Price.

"I just think we maybe showed a little bit of a lack of composure in that last five minutes, giving the ball back when we didn’t need to and ultimately it cost us.

"They put everything into the game and its hard to be critical of them but going forward I think we are better than that in giving the ball away in areas at the end of the game that we didn’t need to.

"But it’s a great building block, a great start to a new phase, if you like, and good to get two weeks with the players working together and we certainly got the benefit of that on Saturday with the performance.

"We were almost there. We obviously missed Kane and the way we were getting the ball back in certain areas of the park, you certainly miss that outlet of having Kane to trouble the defence with his pace.

"I think we could have caused Kelty a lot more problems with him in the team.

"But the plan worked, it was very similar to the Queen’s Park game last year and it was more how the team was moving together without the ball.

"That really has to be the benchmark for all games."

It was Elgin's first outing in over two weeks, since Friday night defeat at Edinburgh City which prompted Price to analyse what went wrong in the 2-0 defeat in the capital.

"It was really quite alarming when I watched back the Edinburgh game.

"They weren't working like they have been in the last couple of years, we weren’t working together as a team without the ball and on Saturday we definitely did that.

"It’s clear we are a very good team when we do that."

On Grivosti's debut for the club, the City manager added: "He played on the right side of centre half and he did very well.

"We had dialogue with Ross County to say we had to take him off after 60-70 minutes. It’s his first game in 18 months and we didn't want to risk aggravating anything.

"I really we wouldn’t have wanted to take him off in that situation but Nathan (Cooney) comes in, you don’t want to take a defender off when your game plan is that way but that’s the hurdle we had to contend with."

Brian Cameron played up front in Hester's place and Price commended him for holding the ball up well and showing his versatility to feature in an unfamiliar position.

Hester will already be a doubt for Elgin's home match against Annan Athletic on Saturday, while stopper Matthew Cooper is expected to return to training later this month having missed several weeks of action due to a shin problem.

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