Report by George Hay
A tremendous crowd of 3624 fans were at Borough Briggs this afternoon to witness the latest meeting between Elgin City and their Premiership opponents Inverness Caley Thistle.
ICT started the game positively and tried to put City under pressure right from the start. But they were a bit too physical and conceded six free kicks in the first ten minutes. A feature that continued throughout the game with ICT taking no prisoners.
City won the toss off the coin and elected to kick towards the Cooper Park end. I think that decision was made because of a strong low sun which would have bothered whatever keeper was defending that end. Shane had City’s first attempt on goal, but his effort was too high.
ICT weren’t giving City any time on the ball and were certainly biting into challenges. Greg Tansey seemed to be fancying his chances with a couple of long range efforts, one of which went narrowly past the other being saved by Marc Waters. It was mainly ICT possession and pressure, but City were holding on without too many major scares. But it was becoming obvious to the majority of the crowd that ICT had a player who was capable of winning games on his own.
That player was Larnell Cole who was teasing and tormenting the City defence at every opportunity. Chris McLeish was showing up well for City, not giving the ICT defenders any peace at all. And it was from a run by Chris that gave City a free kick just outside the box.
The taking of the free kick looked a bit complicated at first, but when the ball was played back to Mark Nicolson he curled a low shot round the side of the City wall. Fon Williams the ICT keeper appeared to be blinded by the sun, and by the time he got down to save, he spilled the ball over the line.
So 1-0 to the City. ICT thought they had equalised in the very next minute, but the “goal” was disallowed for offside. City had to use their first substitute shortly after when Keiran Stewart came on for Twiggy who had to go off after a challenge from Doumbouya and just 3 minutes later ICT equalised and it was the danger man I referred to earlier Larnell Cole who scored it.
He went past 3 City defenders and hit a low left foot shot past Marc Waters in the City goal.
Play was fairly level in the first ten minutes of the second half, although ICT had the bulk of the pressure. Seven minutes into the half Ian Vigurs()had a go from 20 yards, but the effort was wide.
Doumbouya was causing problems for the City because of his height and in fairly quick succession he got in two headers, the second of which came back off the City crossbar. 20 minutes into the half and ICT took the lead courtesy of the same player who beat Darryl and Marc in the City goal with a header. Jamie Reid replaced Chris Dodd and Craig Gunn replaced Daniel Moore in quick succession in a bid to get something out of the game. But ICT were still dangerous and Vigurs hit the crossbar with a chip shot.
With 3 minutes to go, City had their best chance of the second half when Shane Sutherland got possession but his shot just missed to the left. Darryl McHardy was pushed forward in a final bid by City to get something out of the game, but his header from a corner was high and a shot was high and wide. And so City exited this year’s Scottish Cup but they left with their heads held high.