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    Allan Maitland Arbroath Preview 

    Friday, March 13, 2009 6:47:56 PM

    Football can sometimes be a cruel game and only taking one point from our two derby matches with Stirling Albion last week proved that. Our effort and application in the 180 minutes or so of football was tremendous and with the exception of two defensive lapses in the second half last Saturday I couldn’t have asked for any more from the lads. There is no doubt in my mind that the game changed on the referee’s decision to give a penalty that yet again fell into the controversial category that has constantly gone against us this season. I normally analyse the incidents and ask the players involved for their opinion on how we could have avoided the penalty but on this occasion there was nothing I could say to Scot other than he appeared to have covered well and made a good challenge. In fairness to Stirling, and Ross Forsyth in particular, they weren’t looking for a penalty and they admitted after that they didn’t expect it. As we’ve seen before there are times when we don’t react well to major decisions going against us and before we could compose ourselves we were 2 – 1 down when we failed to clear our lines properly or pick up tightly and allowed Martin Grehan a free strike from 8 yards out. The players showed great spirit to create chances and scored again when Pat Scullion made an excellent run into the box. We looked capable of winning the game at that stage but conceded another soft goal when Stirling broke away from defending our corner. Despite that we managed to create another 2 wonderful opportunities through Stuart Noble and Brown Ferguson but unfortunately we failed to get the equaliser we deserved. What I would say is that the game itself was excellent with both teams giving their all - Stirling played well and controlled spells in the game (particularly in the first half) while we created the best chances throughout the match.
    Today we welcome John McGlashan, his coaches, the players, the directors and the supporters of Arbroath to the “Recs” for a game that is crucial to both sides in the fight to avoid the play off spot at the bottom of the league. Arbroath have hit a spell of good form recently and certainly don’t look like a side ready to relinquish their place in the Second Division. John has assembled a tremendously hard working side and have plenty of talent to match their endeavour, which has been backed up with the confidence that comes with a good run of results. I expect the game to be a tight affair with not a lot of chances but know that we have the players capable of breaking down Arbroath’s strong defence. However we need to ensure is that we remain focussed defensively and understand the importance of winning the game. By the end of the season both sides may look back at today as a pivotal result either way.
    As you will know I have allowed Andy Ferguson to go out on loan to Stenhousemuir until the end of the season. I would like to thank Andy for his efforts over the last two seasons and wish him well for the future.
    I hope you all enjoy today’s game and wish to thank you for your continued support.
    Allan Maitland
     



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