The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

McHale says El­gin can ac­cel­er­ate into sea­son after this great run

- BY ANDY SKIN­NER Sports · Soccer · Elgin City F.C. · Hull F.C. · League One · Raith Rovers F.C. · Bristol Rovers F.C. · Hibernians F.C. · Brechin City F.C. · Brechin · Brechin · Dundee · League Two · Alloa Athletic F.C. · Championship · Weymouth, Norfolk County, MA · Truro City F.C. · Alloa

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.”

 ??  ?? Plenty of pos­i­tives: For El­gin City goal­keeper Thomas McHale
Plenty of pos­i­tives: For El­gin City goal­keeper Thomas McHale
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