The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
McHale says Elgin can accelerate into season after this great run
Elgin City goalkeeper Thomas McHale feels the Black and Whites must take heart from a good run in the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup.
It ended with a 3-2 quarter-final defeat by League 1 leaders Raith Rovers on Friday – but the Moray team let everyone know they were in it.
Elgin recorded high-scoring victories over Hibernian colts and Brechin City before recording upsets against Dundee and Airdrieonians.
Although they fell short against Rovers, Englishman McHale feels their displays against higher-level opposition should give them belief for the remainder of their League 2 campaign.
McHale said: “In every game we have played we have always been the underdog.
“That excited us as players but we went into every game knowing we had a chance. I’m proud of what we have done.
“We have given a few people a bit of a scare in this competition. Beating Dundee and
Airdrie provided big scalps for us. We also beat Hibs colts.
“A lot of people maybe didn’t expect us to get past that first round. We have beaten expectation. We have really performed well in this cup and it is starting to show in the league now as well.
“We have taken this cup form into the league and we have got a good few weeks ahead of us.
“If we can keep our run going in the league, who knows what we can do come the end of the season.”
Elgin ran Raith Rovers close at Stark’s Park.
Former Weymouth and Truro City goalkeeper McHale felt that, on another day, his side could have won.
He added: “Coming up against a side like Raith, we knew it was going to be tough. I think we were really hard-done by.
“We created so many good chances and unfortunately it just wasn’t enough.
“Everyone is really proud of each other. The fans were brilliant, coming down on a Friday night.”
City’s focus now turns to Saturday’s Scottish Cup tie at home to an Alloa Athletic side they have already defeated on penalties in the Betfred Cup group stage this season.
McHale insists Gavin Price’s men have nothing to fear against their Championship opponents.
The 24-year-old added: “We can go into the game against Alloa and enjoy that because I think we’ve got a real good chance of progressing in that cup as well.
“In every game we have created chances and Alloa was one of those where we created a lot.
“We had a few things to iron out defensively after that game, but I think we did that really well.
“They are going to want to come and beat us, undoubtedly, but we are not going to let them come and do that easily.
“We will give it all we have got and hopefully get through to the next round.”