Published: 18/07/2013 12:30 - Updated: 18/07/2013 16:31

Gunn shoots down Jags' victory hopes

James McShane closes down the ball against Elgin (Martin Wares)
James McShane closes down the ball against Elgin (Martin Wares)

Strathspey Thistle were denied a friendly victory against an experienced Elgin City side at Seafield Park on Sunday, courtesy of a last-minute Craig Gunn equaliser.

Having originally fallen behind to Gunn’s slick finish early in the first half, the Jags went on to lead 3-1 at half-time after two goals by David Ross which sandwiched Ronnie Jones’ effort.

However, in the second half, Graeme Beveridge got City back into the game with a superb effort from distance, before Gunn’s last-gasp equaliser.

Elgin are a side who have earned plaudits so far in this summer’s pre-season campaign, with a 3-0 victory against Strathspey’s fellow Highland League outfit Buckie Thistle as well as marginal defeats to both Rangers and Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

For the Jags, Sunday marked their second pre-season game thus far, with both ending in draws against former Highland League opposition following their 2-2 share of the spoils with a youthful Ross County side the previous weekend.

Jags assistant boss Brian Grant was pleased to acknowledge how well his side had done in earning the draw, but felt natural anguish at coming so close to beating the Borough Briggs side.

“Surprisingly I felt robbed by the end of the game, even though if you had offered me a 3-3 draw at the start of the game I’d have bitten your hand off,” he said.

“But we came so close. They scored from a free-kick with the last kick of the ball to equalise.

“The lads worked very hard, and Davie Ross has scored two fantastic goals. For his first, he chipped the goalkeeper, and Ronnie Jones headed in a second.

“Davie has then scored right on the stroke of half-time to make it 3-1.

“However, I know Ross Jack quite well, and I knew he would have his players fired up for the second half. They scored soon after, then got the equaliser late on.

“Elgin had quite a good side out. And our performance was very good. The lads worked their socks off, they worked so hard that we all felt a bit robbed by the end of the game. But our fitness preparation for the new season is going quite well.”

Strathspey will now close out their pre-season campaign with two fixtures against Junior opposition.

On Saturday the Jags make the journey north to play against Nairn St Ninian (kick-off 2pm), a game that will mark a return to Showfield Park for a number of current Thistle players.

Strathspey then face New Elgin at Nicol-Togneri Park next Tuesday, with a 7.30pm kick-off.

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