Report: Stirling Albion 0-0 Elgin City

thumbnail of Elgin City FC LogoReport by George Hay

City changed their set up for the match against Stirling Albion. We went for a 3-5-2 formation with Matty Cooper, Jamie Duff and Mark Nicolson at the back. Sam Dryden, our loan player from Dundee featured from the start and despite wearing No. 3 fitted in wide right midfield. Steven Ross, Brian Cameron and Thomas Reilly were in their usual positions and Archie McPhee was in left midfield. Up front we had Kyle MacLeod and Craig Gunn.
The game was slow to get going and it was the 15 minute before we earned our first corner, which didn’t come to anything. In 20 mins, City came very close following another corner when a Jamie Duff header was blocked on the line, I think, by Steven Doris. Yes, the Stirling Albion striker. Two mins later the ball was cleared from the City box, but only as far as Sean Dickson. He took it in his stride and let go a tremendous 25 yard shot which Mark Hurst did well to palm over the top.

After 35 mins Stirling should have gone ahead when Doris was sent clear. Mark Hurst came off his line and forced Doris to knock the ball past the post. Two minutes later City ought to have opened the scoring. Gunny was sent clear of the Stirling defence and had only the keeper to beat. He seemed to panic and pulled his shot wide of the keepers right hand post. A great chance missed. And minutes later Steven Ross missed another 1 on 1 with the keeper partially blocking his effort at the expense of a corner. So 0-0 at half time with both teams passing up realistic chances.

Steven Ross had City’s first effort of the second half but his attempt was saved by the keeper. Stirling Albion were forcing the pace at this point and their nippy forwards were proving a handful for the City defence. Connor McLaren replaced Sam Dryden after an hour’s play. Daniel Moore then replaced Kyle Macleod.

Connor McLaren had City’s next effort on goal, but his header was saved by the keeper. With 12 mins to go, City sent on their last substitute in the form of Kyle Lander who replaced Craig Gunn. Lander came close 10 mins from time, but his effort was just too high. Daniel Moore was playing very well down his traditional left wing and a couple of his crosses deserved better than the finishes put on them.

Craig Beattie came on for Stirling and was proving to be a handful for the City defence. With 3 mins to go City came close following a good move down our left wing. Archie MacPhee burst forward and fired in a left footed grounder which the Stirling keeper did well to save low down to his right. Daniel Moore then fired a shot past the post as City tried to get the winner. But Stirling seemed to think there was something in the game for them and forced a few corners in added-on time, but fortunately for City they came to nothing and the game finished at 0-0.

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