Stephen Swift takes his side into The Highlands for the 2nd consecutive week as he looks to get his league form back on track following last week’s Scottish Cup win against Formartine United.
Just the one change from the side that ran out 3-1 winners, with Adam Corbett being preferred in the right back position over Ross Philp.
Euan O’Reilly, Tam Orr, Will Sewell and Matty Yates continue as an attacking group, with 23 goals between them in the 22 games played so far.
It took ten minutes before the first chance of note, and it was the home side to deliver. Kane Hester got on the end of a fine through ball, he managed to wriggle passed Sean, but Jay was on hand to make a good save with his feet to keep the score level.
It was the visitors turn just a moment later. Euan O’Reilly managed to get passed his man and deliver a cross into the box, but McHardy was on hand to deal with albeit at the expense of the game’s first corner kick. Matty Yates took the out swing corner and Crighton rose tallest, but his header fell well wide.
GOAL: It wasn’t long before the first good chance of the match became the first goal of the match. Euan O’Reilly was beaten on the left as he was covering for Callum Yeats, the ball was passed back to the edge of the box where nobody was picking up Dingwall and the striker rifled home from the edge of the box under no challenge at all for the visitors. ELGIN CITY 1-0 STENHOUSEMUIR [Russell Dingwall, 19 minutes]
The Warriors pushed for an equaliser and Euan O’Reilly was fouled again on 20 minutes given Matty Yates a chance to swing in a free kick. It was well defended and The Warriors claim another corner. Matty Yates again delivered and Mikey Miller, who loves a goal against Elgin, saw his drift inches wide.
25 minuted played in the first half and The Warriors are thawing everything at the home defence who have stood strong so far. Mikey Anderson the next up to have a go from range, but he won’t want to watch back his scuffed shot as he claimed the ball on the edge of the box.
Will Sewell is next up to try his hand as he gets on the end of a cut back by Euan, but his attempt is too casual and flies wide of the mark.
SUBSTITUTION: Stenhousemuir’s defensive injury crisis continues as Sean Crighton goes down holding his calf in the 32nd minute. He can’t continue and is replaced by Ross Philp who will slide into the right ball position allowing Adam Corbett to partner Dan Higgins in the middle of the park. Mikey Miller take the armband in the absence of Sean and Ross Forbes.
GOAL: The home side got a bit too comfortable on the ball and Tam Orr was able to nick in and steal the ball thanks to a very short pass, he burst into the box and found Will Sewell close to the penalty spot and the striker finds the back of the net with a side foot finish. Will’s 5th of the campaign and The Warriors are back in the match after an extended period of pressure. ELGIN CITY 1-1 STENHOUSEMUIR [Will Sewell, 39 minutes]
And it was almost two for The Warriors just a few moments later. The home defence just can’t cope with O’Reilly and his drive ended up inches wide.
GOAL: Dan Higgins broke up an attack which lead to his booking. The free kick was swung and Dingwall headed back across with Kane Hester able to tap in unchallenged. Extremely harsh on the visitors who have controlled the last 15 minutes of the game. But again, failure to defend a set piece has proven costly. ELGIN CITY 2-1 STENHOUSEMUIR [Kane Hester 45 minutes]
HALF TIME: ELGIN CITY 2-1 STENHOUSEMUIR
The 2nd half was void of any proper action in the opening ten minutes. Dan Higgins did go down injured which looked to spell the end of the game for him. But the centre half received some treatment and was back on the pitch.
The first proper chance of the half came on 57 minutes. Dingwall seemed to trip up over his own feet, with the referee awarding the free kick. That got some tempers going and after a bit of handbags, Dingwall took the free kick which was well saved by Jay down to his right.
It was the home side that started to add the pressure looking for a third. Kane Hester played through but Jay making another good save with his feet. The rebounded shot was struck straight into the side netting.
SUBSTITUTION: Double change for Stenhousemuir with Adam Brown and Scott Walker replacing Will Sewell and Mikey Anderson on the 61st minute.
Dan Higgins almost caused himself some bother when he appeared to be caught with the ball at his feet. As Hester looked to have broke away and through on goal, Higgins recovered with a perfect slide challenge allowing Jay to collect. The action then spilled straight up the other end with Yeats and Brown combing, but the latter drilled his shot well over the bar.
20 minutes to play and Euan O’Reilly should’ve equalised. He got on the end of a Matty Yates cross and only a fine save by McHale kept Euan off the scoresheet.
SUBSTITUTION: Into injury time and Dan Higgins is finally forced to be replaced. The defender isn’t looking too comfortable which could leave Swift with only one recognised fit centre back in Adam Corbett. He’s replaced by Niyah Joseph in the closing stages of the match.
It was Niyah that had the chance to claim a deserved point at the end. As he settled himself to take a shot, the defender came sliding in to deflect the shot wide, which was missed by the referee who signals for a goal kick.
FULL TIME: ELGIN CITY 2-1 STENHOUSEMUIR
Starting Lineup: Cantley, Yeats, Higgins, Crighton, Corbett, O’Reilly, Miller, Anderson, Yates, Orr, Sewell
Subs: Brennan, Walker [Anderson 61′], Forbes, Brown [Sewell 61′], Philp [Crighton 32′], Joseph [Higgins 90′]
Goals: Sewell [39 minutes]
Bookings: Higgins [45 minutes]