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    Allan Maitland Previews Arbroath game 

    Friday, September 25, 2009 6:49:30 PM

    Having played four of our first six games away from home we are pleased to have two games in a row at the “Recs” with Arbroath and then East Fife coming to Alloa. Our display last Saturday at Stenhousemuir was very disappointing, especially when so many supporters had made the effort to back the team and were given no real encouragement in a performance that was well below par. Having said that, I don’t want to be too critical of our players – the accumulation of 13 points from 5 games prior to Saturday was superb and spoke volumes of their efforts and application. Our last home display was our victory against Stirling Albion when Andy Scott’s excellent finish was the only difference between 2 evenly matched sides. On the day we were fortunate not to concede a goal but could easily have added a second late in the match when Iain Russell was causing their back 3 some problems. With that victory behind us I expected a confident display last week but a physical Stenhousemuir side managed to compete much better than us and won most of the loose balls all over the park. Injuries to Kevin Welsh, Andy Scott and Iain Russell didn’t help our cause but I don’t wish to make excuses when we should have had enough quality in the team to get something from the game. We had a couple of late chances to sneak a draw but that would have been unjust and we need to take the defeat in the correct manner and make sure we learn from that experience. On any given Saturday every team in our league is capable of winning or losing against any other side and that was highlighted by Brechin City’s defeat at Clyde.
    Today we welcome John McGlashan, along with his coaches, the players, directors and supporters of Arbroath FC. Last season there was not a lot between the sides as we both struggled to stay out of the relegation zone although in fairness Arbroath always looked in a more comfortable position than us. I suspect that both clubs expect improvement this season and early form indicates that we will both be better. Our opponents today include Stevie Hislop and Barry Sellars in their ranks who are both, in my opinion, capable of being the star performers in our league. Steven turned down the opportunity of joining us during the summer and will prove to be a great signing for Arbroath while Barry Sellars has always been a great player in this division and has caused us numerous problems in the past.
    Last week’s injuries to Andy Scott, Iain Russell and Kevin Welsh who had to leave the field early with a groin injury, have added to the list of Chris Townsley, David McClune and Dougie Wilson and has proved that we will need all our players to contribute this season if we hope to compete at the top end of the league. The most pleasing aspect of the “Stenny” game was seeing Stuart Noble back in the squad and getting on at half time. With two goals in his first two league games Stuart has already shown that he can score goals in this division if we can keep him fit.
    Finally I wish to congratulate Kevin Welsh and his partner Jennifer on the birth of their daughter last week and hope there’s not too many sleepless nights.

    I hope you all enjoy today’s game.

    Allan Maitland

    Managers Corner