Two goals from Craig Gunn and a penalty from Jason Crooks saw 10 man Elgin knock 10 man Albion Rovers out of the 2nd Round of the Alba Cup.
All those fans who stayed in to watch the Champions League between Celtic and Arsenal missed an excellent Alba Cup tie at Borough Briggs. 2 sendings off, a penalty and one of the classiest finishes seen in a long time, put City through to the Quarter Finals of the cup.
An even first half saw a great save from Gibson in the City goal foillowed up by Davd A Craig turning a low cross behind for a corner, where it would have been so easy to knock the ball into his own net. Albion were showing why they were sitting top of the 3rd Division as their 2 forwards continued to drag the City defence across the park.
The game exploded into life in the 63 minute when Jason Crooks harrassed the Rovers defence, charged down a clearance and drove into the box only to be fouled by Canning. A clear penalty and a straight red for the Rovers defender. Crooks stepped up and took the penalty himself, driving it well past the despairing dive of Gaston. 1 - 0 City. Now that Rovers had to come forward and attack, gaps started appearing at the back which, thanks to the pace of Gunn and Frizzell, it appeared that Elgin would enjoy and soon add to their goal. However City being City dont do things the easy way and on 76 minutes Mcdonald picked up his second booking of the game and was sent off by the ref. It's hard to say why but it appeared some talking back to the ref was involved. Ross Jack was vocal in his complaints over the decision and was promptly sent to the stand by the ref as well.
But only 4 minutes later the City fans were celebrating. Now that both sides were down to 10, Rovers felt that they had a chance to get back into the game and put some pressure on City however Crooks picked up the ball inside the opponents half and slipped a low hard pass through the defence for Gunn to chase. As the keeper came out, he played the ball around him before taking a couple more touches and despite the presence of two defenders, calmly slotting the ball into the empty net. As he celebrated his first goal for the club, none of the City fans were aware that an even better goal was coming 10 minutes later. As Rovers pushed up to pull something from the game Gunn was again played through and this time chipped the backpedalling keeper from outside the penalty box.
A classy goal to put the icing on a convincing City win, and with them now advancing to the quarter finals of the cup, confidence is higher at the club than it has been for some time.
Elgin: Gibson, Niven (Calder 86), David A Craig (MacAulay 46), Kaczan, David W Craig, Mcdonald, Gunn, Edwards, Frizzel (Cameron 89), Nicolson, Crooks.
Subs Not Used: Dunn, Robertson.
Sent Off: Mcdonald (76). Booked: Mcdonald, Nicolson.
Goals: Crooks 64 pen, Gunn 80, 90.
Albion: Gaston, Reid, McGowan, Canning, Benton, McKeown (Ferry 59), Boyle, Tyrrell, Pollock (McCusker 64), Walker, Barr.
Subs Not Used: Crozier, Stewart, Ewings.
Sent Off: Canning (63). Booked: McKeown, McGowan.
Ref: C Charleston
All photos courtesy of Robert Crombie, Elgin City club photographer