Elgin City manager Ross Jack was content enough after watching his mixture of youth and on-trial players turn in a decent performance against Rangers at Borough Briggs on Tuesday.
A healthy crowd of over 2,300 boosted the City manager’s hopes of signing a few of the trialists he has had on show in this game and previous wins over Highland League sides Buckie Thistle and Deveronvale, but the real bonus for Jack had to have been the application shown by his players on a warm summer evening.
There was in particular an impressive enough outing for former Peterhead goalkeeper Ray Jellema, who looked comfortable throughout bar one early incident when he hesitated in possession and allowed Lee McCulloch to threaten close in. The stopper was delighted to see that effort drift wide of target.
City provided their first threat on the quarter hour mark, Niven getting the ball beyond Darren Cole only to be dumped to the turf for his troubles – goalkeeper Gallagher doing enough to block the resulting free kick. At the other end from a similar situation Jellema did well to parry the ball from a McCulloch effort.
The best chance for City in the opening 45 minutes fell to Paul Harkins, who found space in the penalty area but dragged his shot wide of target.
Jellema denied McCulloch again, this time blocking at his feet after the Rangers man had pulled down a cross from Andy Mitchell.
An entirely different Rangers eleven came out for the second half and with City also making a number of regular changes the game took on a more patchy feel. The highlight was the only goal of the game itself, arriving just after the hour mark when Aird caused problems on the left flank before loosing an effort that snuck in at the near post.
Elgin City: Trialist; McLean, Beveridge, Crighton, Niven, McKinnon, Gunn, Cameron, Trialist, Harkins, McKenzie. Subs: McLeod, Vastano, Trialist, Macaulay, Black, Murray, Robertson, Thompson, Trialist, Mathieson.
Result: Elgin City 0 Rangers 1