Elgin City’s push for a League 2 promotion play-off spot is still very much on – but only after a slice of good fortune at Borough Briggs on Saturday.
An uninspiring first half in which neither side managed to carve more than a handful of opportunities left supporters frustrated.
However, early in the second half it was a clash of heads between City’s Darryl McHardy and Jamie Duff that had most wincing – and ultimately sparked life into a lacklustre encounter.
The pair went for the same ball in the 53rd minute and ended up requiring extensive treatment to head wounds – resulting in McHardy not returning to the action and Duff doing so with a bandage around his head.
For the 90 seconds that City were down to nine men as their bench contemplated what action to take, visitors Arbroath took the lead through Bobby Linn.
City were soon back to full strength – and perhaps through feelings of injustice finally got their game in gear, Craig Gunn lashing the ball into the net after the visitors had failed to clear from a corner kick.
The slice of fortune then came Elgin’s way when Sutherland was sent clear – his effort at first evaded the goalkeeper, but the visitors felt he had recovered to scoop the ball off the line. The referee, however, had another view entirely and awarded the goal.
City defender Mathew Cooper said: “This was a massive three points and we now move on to the next game against Montrose looking for a similar result.
“We have the belief and the ability within the squad to stand a really good chance of reaching the play-offs.”
City are two points adrift of East Fife in the race for a play-off place – and with the sides meeting in the final game of the season the race is very much in the balance. However, Elgin must first deal with Montrose and Annan Athletic in the next two weeks.
Match highlights courtesy of Elgin City TV