Holders Ross County suffer shock Challenge Cup exit
HOLDERS Ross County crashed out of the Ramsdens Challenge Cup on Saturday as Third Division Elgin City shocked the Staggies 2-1 at Victoria Park.
The Irn Bru Division One side, who are one of the clubs best equipped for a promotion challenge this season, saw an early lead turned around – much to the delight of City, who had several ex-County players in their ranks, as well as boss Ross Jack, a former coach at County.
The hosts blasted in front after just 72 seconds when Scott Morrison shot low into the corner of the net to get Derek Adams’ team off to a flying start.
However, Elgin held their nerve and worked their way into the tie. Former Victoria Park forward Craig Gunn tested goalkeeper Michael Fraser with a header on 16 minutes.
County striker Steven Craig, who was impressive in pre-season, crashed a shot off the bar as his side sought a second goal.
Fraser then denied Daniel Moore when he got down smartly to push the full-back’s free-kick around the post.
However, the visitors drew level on 37 minutes when new signing Graham Beveridge played the ball on to Brian Cameron and his low drive beat Fraser.
The Dingwall side almost regained their lead before the break, but Moore cleared a net-bound header from Colin McMenamin off the line.
The Staggies started the second half positively and City goalkeeper Zander Clark saved chances from McMenamin then Iain Vigurs.
The winner from Elgin arrived on 61 minutes when Gunn sent ex-Caley Thistle and Clach youngster Stuart Leslie on the run and he kept his cool to round Fraser and score.
McMenamin went close with a shot with 10 minutes to go, but City could have added a third after than when Craig Frizzell shot wide from close range.
County will be seeking a swift reply this weekend when they host Third Division Queen’s Park in the Scottish Communities League Cup.
Ross County: Fraser, Miller (Byrne 86), Flynn, Munro, Morrison, Brittain, Lawson (Duncan 67), Vigurs (Corcoran 63), Gardyne, Craig, McMenamin. Subs not used: Malin (GK), Kettlewell.
Elgin City: Clark, Niven, Duff, Kaczan, Cameron (Frizzel 79), O’Donoghue (Crooks 74), Beveridge, Moore (Lawrie 88), Gunn, Leslie. Subs not used: Calder (GK), Jack.
Referee: Matt Northcroft.