Albion Rovers 2-0 Elgin City (agg. 2-1): Rovers overturn deficit to progress
A DRAMATIC late goal saw Rovers overturn their first-leg deficit and progress to the Second Division play-off final after a thrilling encounter, writes Martin Kelly at Cliftonhill.
Leading from the first leg, Elgin had looked capable of holding out until John Gemmell’s strike levelled the tie. Scott Chaplain’s last-ditch effort then sparked joy in the home ranks and despair for the visitors.
Paul Martin, the home manager, is now looking for one last survival effort when his side play Stranraer in the two-legged play-off final.
Martin said: “We refused to let things slip away when we went a man down on Wednesday and today we’ve made six changes. That amplifies what this club is all about and the players deserve credit. The manner of our goals was harsh on Elgin but that’s football and, for us, it’s all about survival now.”
The match got off to a lively start and Elgin captain David Niven almost gifted Chaplain a goal early on but the midfielder failed to keep his composure. Just before the break, Gemmell came close again when his low shot was superbly blocked by Zander Clark. The inspired Rovers No.9 finally broke through on 62 minutes when he followed up to volley past Clark after Mark Nicholson had blocked his initial headed effort.
In a pulsating finish, Derek Gaston in goal saved the home side when faced one-on-one with Stuart Leslie.
Rovers cashed in on the let-off when Chaplain connected with an overhead kick which deflected off Nicholson and into the net. It was hard on Elgin who had been seeking promotion for the first time and manager Ross Jack said: “I didn’t think we were in any danger but they got two flukey goals and it’s hard to take.”
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Monday 20 May 2013
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