Draper deputises to good effect

Reporter:

Mike Sheridan

GREG Draper made it four goals in two games as The New Saints brushed aside Elgin City to progress to the quarter finals of the Irn-Bru cup, with a convincing 4-0 win at Park Hall.

Draper bagged a quick-fire double to put the Welsh champions in the driving seat, following his brace against Flint Town on Tuesday night, and he admitted it felt good to be back amongst the goals after playing second fiddle to Wes Fletcher for the early part of the season.

“We’ve got a strong squad, Wes has done really well so far but he picked up a bit of a niggle last week and so it was my chance to come in and start on Tuesday night with a nice couple of goals and it was the same again today,” he said.

Fletcher may find it difficult to regain his place with Draper in this type of form, and the New Zealand international underlined his quality early on, opening the scoring in the 16th minute with a spectacular turn and strike from the edge of the box. In a move reminiscent of Scott Quigley’s opener from a similar position against FC Europa in this year’s Champions League qualifier, Draper’s clever drag-back took him beyond the Elgin defence, before rifling into the roof of the net to make it 1-0.

An Aeron Edwards header in the 40th minute and a low Jamie Mullan strike into the bottom corner four minutes later put the Saints in command at 3-0 to the good, all but ending the Scottish League Two side’s involvement in the competition before the half-time whistle.

Draper added a fourth in the 61st minute when he turned in Cieslewicz’s low cross to ensure a miserable return 450 mile journey to Moray for managerless Elgin.

“I don’t score too many goals like the first goal, they’re normally tap ins or like the second one where it's just hit me and come off my knee or something but it’s great to be playing in a team that’s doing well again and scoring lots of goals,” added Draper.

“It’s great to be back in the team and hopefully we can keep this little run going now.”

Email:

mike.sheridan@nwn.co.uk

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