Elgin City beat Peterhead 4-0 to advance to round four

Elgin City are in the fourth round of the SPFL Trust Trophy – after a thoroughly impressive performance to beat Peterhead 4-0 at Balmoor.

A superb curling strike from Russell Dingwall launched the visitors into League Two Aberdeenshire, top scorer Kane Hester netting his goal before the interval in a thrilling and often end-to-end first half where City supremacy at the midfielder revealed it.

As League One Peterhead struggled to progress after the break, a header from Dylan Lawrence and then a low finish from Angus Mailer added shine to the well organized and ultimately comfortable Moray men.

Both sides seek to maintain positive signs

Peterhead came into Saturday’s game after a first Ligue 1 victory of the season last weekend (3-1 against Kelty Hearts).

Robbie McGale (dislocated shoulder), Aberdeen loanee goalkeeper Tom Ritchie (tie cut) and Ryan Dow (Achilles) were unavailable for the Elgin Cup clash, while two of their 20 summer signings, Loran Venrooy and Enock Walusimbi, are still waiting for work permits.

A first competitive clash with Elgin since Peterhead won League Two for promotion in 2019 saw the Blue Toon start three players, in Conor O’Keefe – fresh off his 40-yard peach against Kelty – Andy McDonald and David Wilson , which have already turned out for visitors.

Conor O’Keefe nets for Peterhead against Kelty Hearts. O’Keefe is a former Elgin player.

Meanwhile, Elgin were without skipper Matthew Cooper with a knee problem following their 3-3 League Two draw with Stenhousemuir last Saturday.

Ochilview’s draw meant Elgin arrived at Balmoor with just one defeat in eight matches – including their Challenge Cup wins over Dundee United B and Stenny.

However, before kick-off, Gavin Price may have been aware of a stat that revealed Elgin had lost all seven previous competitive meetings with the Blue Toon during his tenure.

Elgin scores twice in a first half full of chances

Price’s men got off to a good start in what turned into a sometimes hectic opening period.

At nine minutes a bullet in the Peterhead area initially seemed intended to miss everyone, but found Russell Dingwall. He cut inside and curled a left-footed shot perfectly into the far corner, giving Sandy Wood no chance in Blue Toon’s goal.

Peterhead continued to look vulnerable as they conceded again within minutes of the opener and, although they steadied the ship, they did not threaten to equalize until the 19th minute. O’Keefe appeared to have hesitated too long as he danced along Elgin’s six-yard line but then got a shot which Daniel Hoban rushed to light it on the post. Goalkeeper Hoban also blocked Jack Wilkie’s close-range effort on the rebound.

Four minutes later, after a misplaced pass from Dingwall into midfield and a good interaction between Wilkie and O’Keefe on the left, Wilkie was again denied by Hoban, with the keeper turning the cross goal low from the back left around the post for a corner. .

From Paul Dixon’s delivery, Jason Brown’s falling header was close enough to Hoban to get the ball back.

At the other end, Lewis Nicolson’s attempt to finish in an open goal – after Wood had cleared but was left out of position – was snagged on the line as Brown returned his attention to defence.

In the 29th minute, Wood made a smart low save after Angus Mailer’s pretty pass sent Elgin star Kane Hester through.

Elgin, however, scored his second in 35 minutes. Lawrence nibbles to intercept a pass in the direction of a flat-footed Dixon, before playing in hester to cut beyond a helpless wood.

Peterhead struggles to create

At half-time, Peterhead sent in Chris Kisuka and Jordon Brown to replace Dixon and Prince Asare – as Jim McInally rearranged things in the hope they could turn the tide in a midfield battle that has been won by Dingwall of Elgin, Mailer and Brian Cameron in the opening period.

Peterhead manager Jim McInally
Peterhead manager Jim McInally

However, Elgin threatened a third shortly after the restart and – had it not been for a close-range save from Wood – Hester would have had his second of the afternoon.

With Elgin now seated and happy to counter his hosts, the leader found his next opening at the break on the hour mark, but was coy with the attempt and Wood nipped the ball away.

In the 69th minute it was 3-0. Nicolson burst into the Blue Toon box on the left. His shot missed goalkeeper Wood, but when the ball went down, Dylan Lawrence was on hand for the nod in the bottom right corner of the net.

Things only looked worse for Peterhead, who was struggling to create anything himself, and Wood turned down Hester twice more in the 72nd minute.

Substitute Danny Strachan firing high and wide just outside the box with 10 minutes remaining was the pinnacle of the Blue Toon’s attacking contribution in the second half.

And, with five minutes to go, Messaging returned home through a sea of ​​bodies for number four as the dominant Elgin headed into the fourth round of the SPFL Trust Trophy.

Both teams return to league business next week – Elgin host Annan at Borough Briggs, while Peterhead visits Dunfermline at East End Park.

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[Elgin City thrash Peterhead 4-0 to progress into fourth round]


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