By: Hibernian Media on 16 Aug, 2017 12:55
Hibernian Colts suffered an agonising defeat at the hands of Elgin City in the Irn Bru Cup at Ainslie Park on Tuesday evening.
A goal from Chris McLeish had given the visitors the lead in the first-half, before Fraser Murray equalised early in the second half with a stunning free-kick.
With the game appearing to be heading into extra-time, a header from Stephen Bronsky ensured progress in the competition for Elgin.
Having staved off the pressure from Hibernian in the opening ten minutes of the game, Elgin grew in confidence and were able to begin imposing themselves in the game.
A warning shot was fired when Jamie Reid curled an effort narrowly wide of the target from 20 yards out for the visitors, and five minutes later they found themselves in front.
Hibernian Colts were unable to properly clear a set-piece away from danger, allowing Jon-Paul McGovern to send the ball back into the box with McLeish on hand to steer home his header in the 19th minute.
With the team rocking from the blow, Elgin looked the more likely to score the next goal, coming close when Brian Cameron saw his effort from 25 yards whistle wide of the post.
Eventually, the match became a more even affair as Grant Murray’s side sought to restore parity, with play often moving from end-to-end.
Matulevicius came close with two headers, his first one forcing a save and his second rattling the frame of the goal, before Chris Dood dragged a shot wide for Jim Weir’s team.
Elgin had the chance to double their advantage before the half when Dood was able to round Dabrowski in the Hibernian goal, but Ryan Porteous was alert to the danger and made a brave block to deny the midfielder.
After a somewhat lacklustre half for the side, they showed their attacking verve in the second 45 and instantly put Elgin under the cosh, leading to the equalising goal.
Matulevicius held the ball up well on the edge of the box before he was unceremoniously bundled to the ground by Darryl McHardy.
From 25 yards out, Murray took charge of the free-kick and expertly curled the ball over the wall and into the back of the net with 49 minutes on the clock.
Dabrowski had to be alert to claw away a volley from McGovern as Elgin looked to get themselves back in front instantly.
Hibernian began to apply some more serious pressure on Waters’ goal, but headers from Oli Shaw and Porteous drifted wide of the target, before a Murray and Adam Watson also went close.
Elgin seemed content to sit back and soaked up the pressure in the game, but looked to hit Hibernian on the break.
No chances of note fell the way of the visitors, however, Martin had a trio of chances for Hibernian with his first hitting the side-netting, his second being cleared off the line and his third saved by Waters.
The pressure was swelling and there were strong appeals for a penalty in the 81st minute, but these were turned away by referee Alan Newlands when the ball appeared to strike Darryl McHardy’s arm when he was under pressure from Matulevicius.
With extra-time looming large on the horizon, Elgin delivered a sucker-punch to win the game.
After surviving the barrage of chances from Hibernian Colts, they moved forward and won a corner kick with less than 60 seconds remaining on the clock when Dood’s shot was deflected out for a corner.
Former St Mirren midfielder Thomas Reilly delivered the set-piece to the back post, where Bronsky attacked the ball with his head, sending it into the back of the net to seal the win for the Borough Briggs side.
Hibernian Colts: Dabrowski, Donaldson, Mackie, Porteous, Waugh, Stirling, Watson, Martin, Matulevicius, Shaw, Murray. Unused substitutes: Martin, O’Connor, Gullan, Paton, Gallantes.
Elgin City: Waters, Eadie, Smith, McHardy, Bronsky, McGovern, Reid (Ferguson 81), Cameron, McLeish (Allan, 64), Reilly, Dood (Sutherland, 75). Unused substitutes: Dear, McKinnon.
Image: Maurice Dougan