By David McCabe
Albion Rovers: Jack Leighfield, Adam Fernie, Luke Graham, Ayrton Sonkur, Blair Malcolm, Callum Wilson, Kyle Fleming, Jamie Leslie, Scott Roberts (Kieran Dolan 63′), Charlie Reilly, Joe Bevan (Lewis Kidd 84′)
Subs not used: Chris Smith (GK) Michael Paton, Barry Duncan, Max Wright, Euan Mutale and Josh McCulloch.
Elgin City: Daniel Hoban, Matthew Cooper (Aaron Reid 80′), Ross Draper, Darryl McHardy, Evan Towler (Owen Cairns 4′), Russell Dingwall, Brian Cameron, Angus Mailer, Rory MacEwan (72′), Andy Tod (Tom Findlay 46′), Kane Hester.
Subs not used: Tom McHale (GK), Matthew Jamieson, Dylan Lawrence
Bookings: Luke Graham, Ross Draper, Rory MacEwan.
The Wee Rovers started the game as they intended – on the front foot and in the face of the Elgin players. They weren’t given a second on the ball the whole match as Sandy Clark’s side constantly pressed the opposition into making mistakes.
Despite the strong start, throughout the first half Rovers were incredibly unlucky, and wasteful, in front of goal. The chance of the first half came from Jamie Leslie after a short corner that didn’t make it to the box went out to the Rovers midfielder and struck it beautifully, almost finding the bottom corner if it was not for Elgin’s goalkeeper, Daniel Hoban knocking it out for a corner.
Another chance came when striker, Joe Bevan went through one on one with the keeper – his shot was taken quickly but was chipped wide of the goal.
By the end of the first half Elgin only really had chances from their set plays, which all had gone wide of the Rovers net, meaning the home side went into the first half on top and a deserved lead.
The Rovers came out in the second half in a similar fashion to the first 45, in the opponent’s faces and not letting them settle. However, the home side almost rued not taking their chances after Elgin had an opportunity when a ball into the Rovers box making Leighfield spring into action, with the shot-stopper palming it out the way of danger.
Then when it hit the 54th minute Charlie Reilly sprung into action. After a break by the Rovers, Reilly received the ball and drove at the Elgin defence and after skipping by several players who tried to challenge him he slotted it calmly into the bottom right side of the goal.
And just four minutes Rovers doubled their lead after a brilliant strike by Bevan. Reilly had a shot in the box that was parried by Hoban but it fell into the path of Bevan, who was in the right position to slot it home as calmly as you like.
The game slowed down after that for a good while – the team managing the two-goal lead and the game.
After a run from Charlie on the left-hand side he found Bevan in the box unmarked and alone, the striker then skillfully goes around the keeper narrowing the angle for himself – despite that though he slots it home from the insanely tight angle giving the Coatbridge side three goals and sealing all three points.
The focus now goes onto next week with a trip to Annan in store for Clark’s side. The Rovers will be hoping that they can repeat the away performance against Dumbarton and create an upset.