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    Allan maitland previews Raith Rovers game 

    Friday, January 23, 2009 3:26:30 AM

    I would like to welcome everybody to Recreation Park for today’s game against Raith Rovers, especially John McGlynn and the players, coaches, directors and supporters of Raith Rovers Football Club, it doesn’t seem that long since we played each other in the Scottish Cup and on that occasion Alloa Athletic recorded a memorable 2-1 victory with two late goals from “Bomber” Ferguson which gave us the benefit of the Aberdeen cup tie, so another repeat of that score line would be welcome. I think Raith Rovers have done remarkably well, they recovered from their exit from the Scottish Cup and have now opened up a sizeable gap at the top of the league table and are in great shape now to push on and try and secure promotion having failed in the play off’s in the last couple of seasons, that will make them more determined. For our part we have had a number of changes already in the transfer window, Jamie Stevenson’s loan deal has expired and by his own admission Jamie didn’t do as well as hoped but his performance against Raith Rovers in the Scottish Cup tie reminded us all of the talent he has and we wish him well, Graeme Brown has been released by the club and has gone to Cowdenbeath, Graeme has been a magnificent servant to the club, this season however due to work commitments and other issues he has not managed to recapture the form we know he is capable of and it was time for a fresh challenge for him and again we wish him well, also Fraser Forrest has went on loan to Berwick Rangers until the end of the season, Fraser has been magnificent for the club in the three and a half years he has been at Recreation Park, but Fraser needs to be playing games, at the moment he hadn’t been getting a game at Recreation Park, however he can be recalled at any time should the occasion arise, which should work well for both parties and help get himself ready for a recall if needed.
    On the plus side we have brought Stuart Noble to the club from Airdrie United, it is widely recognised we lack a cutting edge to our game and I have been working on that , throughout and before the transfer window, Stuart is one of the first targets we had and we are delighted to have him, initially for a month on loan but I am hoping to extend that to three months as long as everything goes to plan, I thought he played very well in difficult circumstances at Peterhead last Saturday and I’m sure there’s goals to come from Stuart. There are two or three other players I am working on bringing to the club before the end of the transfer window and hopefully that will come to fruition soon, possibly even before today’s game. Last Saturday showed yet again how desperately unlucky we have been this season, we played with the wind in the first half which we dominated, Scot Buist hit the bar, there was one scrambled off the line, their goalkeeper kicked one of the line and we scored a magnificent goal from Jinky and then as Chris Townsley clears the ball it hits Martin Bavidge on the shin goes across the box and fell kindly for a tap in at the back post, to go in level at half time against the elements which appeared to increase in the second period, we dug in deep , restricted them to very few opportunities, broke away and Jinky hit the post, then Andy Scott was pulled down for a penalty with ten minutes to go, which we scored, and at that stage it was just holding on for a victory, which we appeared to be doing Raymond Jellema didn’t have a save to make but somewhere in the five minutes of injury time we had a lapse of concentration in the box and yet again it has cost us dearly denying us the three points, we were desperately disappointed not to have won the game on Saturday, but yet again it showed signs of improvement within the club, I thought we were tremendous against Aberdeen two weeks ago, we dug in and played really well and showed great character and I am hoping to take that into today’s game and for the rest of the season. As always I thank everyone for their support and hope you all enjoy today’s game.

    Thank you for your support
    Allan Maitland

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