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    Allan Maitland Previews Stirling Albion game 

    Friday, March 06, 2009 2:18:31 PM

    Today is the second part of our derby double header against Stirling Albion after a very hard fought draw in dreadful conditions on Tuesday night. I felt that the game was played by two honest sets of players trying desperately to win the game and giving their all. Stirling had 2 great chances to win the game, one in each half. The first came when Michael Mullen went past Jellie but John Grant made a great block on the line and the second when they hit the post during the spell in the game when they were dominant. We also had two great chances when Andy Scott shot over and in the final minute when their young keeper made a great save from Brian Carrigan, so over the piece I believe a draw was a fair reflection of the game. The game was undoubtedly the sort of game that we would have lost a couple of months ago but we are at last showing a resilience that has been sorely missing from our play this season. Winning a couple of away games on the bounce certainly helps and the introduction of Stuart Noble and Brian Carrigan has also given the team a lift.
    We finished the game on Tuesday with Iain Campell very ill and spending the night in hospital - his dedication to stay on the pitch despite feeling terrible was superb for the team but obviously not the best for his health. It was a courageous decision and I very much appreciate his efforts to help his team mates. As with all our players this season Iain has struggled at times and no doubt found it difficult to adjust to part time football but over the last two months I feel he has been so much better and more consistent, we certainly missed him in our last home game against East Fife. Having said that I would have liked to see him score his chance on Tuesday night when he forced the keeper into a save but I suppose two goals in two games would have been too much to ask. Dougie Hill also ended the game on Tuesday injured when he damaged his groin stretching for a ball, which caused us some problems with their attacks late in the game - again I thank him for his determination.
    Tuesday also saw another stage of the development of young Greig Spence who was excellent when introduced to the game with twenty minutes to go. He was bright, alert, held the ball up well and had two good efforts at goal that might have won the game. Both Pat Scullion and Brian Carrigan helped us to turn the game when they came on after Stirling had a sustained dominance in the game but by the end I felt that we were the side likely to win it. With the irony that comes with Scottish Football a no scoring draw was possibly inevitable after Allan Moore's comments about the previous two open games with lots of goals.
    While we have definitely improved we still have a lot of work to do to get ourselves away from the threat of relegation and it's important that we continue to pick up points over the next few weeks before the International break. Our squad numbers are tight after allowing so many players to go out on loan but I believed that we needed a much closer unit to give everyone there the encouragement of being part of the games on a Saturday and it also gives our younger players an opportunity to join the first team squad. I hope that both Dougie and Iain have recovered enough to play today and that we can produce a much improved display from our last home match.
    As always I'd like to thank you for your support.

    Allan Maitland
    Team Manager

     



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