Stephen Swift rotated his squad for the Round 2 match against Elgin City.
Jay Cantley made his 2nd start for The Warriors in goals. Dan Higgins was brought back into the starting XI following his 1 match suspension and Adam Corbett also returned. Scott Walker and Nicky Jamieson completed the back 4.
Craig Bryson and Mikey Anderson took the mantle of the two holding midfielders with Euan O’Reilly, Niyah Joseph and Ross Forbes playing just behind Will Sewell who led the line.
The Warriors started strong with Euan O’Reilly driving forward in the 2nd minute. He opted for the shot when perhaps laying it off wide to Corbett was the better option. The shot was good though and the defence stood up at the expense of the first corner of the half. Ross Forbes whipped in the resultant corner and an Adam Corbett overhead kick went inches over the bar.
Will Sewell almost broke through on 7 minutes but the keeper was able to head the ball outside his box. That drove the visitors to push on and runs from O’Reilly and Sewell causing problems with the home defence resulting in the latter driving a shot across goal which just went past the post. Niyah Joseph also had a shot form the edge of the box, but the keeper was able to scramble across his line to save.
The first 15 minutes have been mainly played win the home half. The attacking paring of O’Reilly and Sewell have caused lots of problems for the home defence but The Warriors have yet to find that final touch.
Into the 19th minute and Elgin have the best chance of the match so far, Jay Cantley made a smart save though down to his right to deny the opening goal.
Less than 3 minutes later, Will Sewell had another good chance with a glancing header that just drifted wide of the post.
26 minutes gone and The Warriors are chapping at the door. Craig Bryson picked out Will Sewell down the left with an inch perfect pass, the striker fired the ball across the goal, but there were no takers for the visitors. A minute later, Euan Reilly had another shot on goal, this time forcing a strong save from Habon in the home goal.
GOAL: As the hosts made a break forward, the Stenhousemuir defence were claiming offside as Hester broke through on goal. Jay saved the first shot, but was beaten by the 2nd. ELGIN CITY 1-0 STENHOUSEMUIR [Hester 29 minutes]
Difficult one for The Warriors to take as they’ve definitely been the better side so far in this match.
GOAL: Another poor piece of set-piece defending as The Warriors are caught out by a deep free kick which was met at the back post by Dolzanski who looped a header over the helpless Cantley. ELGIN CITY 2-0 STENHOUSEMUIR [Dolzanski 33 minutes]
The Warriors looked to bounce back quick and a stinging shot by Joseph almost caught out Hoban, but the keeper pushed wide for a corner, which was easily cleared.
The 2 goals have burst the home side into life and their confidence is growing as the half goes on.
It was almost 3-0 on 42 minutes, but Jay Cantley was able to prevent a goal from a direct free kick.
HALF TIME: ELGIN CITY 2-0 STENHOUSEMUIR
Double change for The Warriors during the break with Sean Crighton and Nat Wedderburn replacing Nicky Jamieson and Mikey Anderson. The Warriors look to move to 3 at the back for the 2nd half.
The Warriors looked to start the second in similar fashion to the first, but still failing to find that killer touch.
GOAL: Just as The Warriors are starting to threaten more and more, Craig Bryson is caught in possession in the middle of the park. Dingwall was able to receive the ball and neatly finished beyond Jay Cantley to give the hosts a 3 goal lead. ELGIN CITY 3-0 STENHOUSEMUIR [Dingwall 58 minutes]
Any chance of The Warriors getting back into the match seem to have been wiped away.
SUBSTITUTION: Euan O’Reilly and Niyah Joseph make way for Adam Brown and Matty Yates on 60 minutes as Stephen Swift tries to salvage something from this tie.
The Warriors did almost peg the hosts back immediately. Ross Forbes lofted a free kick in from the right hand side and a neat header from Will Sewell forced a good save from Hoban. That lead to a flurry of corners for the visitors, but none truly troubling the home defence.
SUBSTITUTION: Craig Bryson’s evening is over as he’s replaced by Tam Orr.
GOAL: Instant impact from last season’s top scorer! Another free kick from Forbes, a bit deeper this time, was laid off by Nat Wedderburn to Tam Orr who managed to slot home and maybe give The Warriors the slightest of hope for the remainder of the game. ELGIN CITY 3-1 STENHOUSEMUIR [Tam Orr 72 minutes]
The Warriors pushed for another that would’ve made the tie interesting. Matty Yates gave another good showing and perhaps looked the most likely to find the net, but it wasn’t to be.
FULL TIME: ELGIN CITY3-1 STENHOUSEMUIR
Another disappointing result for The Warriors who have now lost their last 4 matches, conceding 3 goals in each of the last 3 games.