"at the heart of the community"

  • Sign In

    Allan Maitland previews cup replay 

    Tuesday, December 08, 2009 4:03:03 AM

    Tonight we extend a warm welcome to Danny Lennon, the coaches, players, Directors and supporters of Cowdenbeath Football Club for the replay of our Scottish Cup Tie. The match has the added incentive that the winners know the reward will be a visit to St Mirren at their new stadium, which would give either side an opportunity of playing an SPL team – something we all look forward to.
    Tonight’s replay is after a hard fought and close encounter at Cowdenbeath when I felt both sets of players gave their all but probably cancelled each other out. I think it’s fair to say that there’s not much between the two teams and I expect tonight’s game may well be much the same with one piece of individual skill or a mistake being the deciding factor. Cup tie’s of this nature are unusual in the sense that people start getting carried away and talking about the possibilities in next round prior to the replay but I know that we will be absolutely focussed in dealing with the game at hand and looking to win just as we managed against Raith Rovers last season in similar circumstances. Cowdenbeath have been fantastic this season and Danny Lennon and his players deserve all the plaudits they’ve received over the last couple of months. They are very hard to beat and try to get the ball down and play a high tempo whenever they can. Their back four are all big strong players with a real determination not to get beat and they have plenty of flair throughout with Jon Robertson, Scott McBride, Brian Fairbairn, Paul McQuade, Mark Ramsay and Jay Stein. Up front Garth Wardlaw has been excellent - he works tirelessly and scores his fair share of goals and is a real handful for any defence. After falling away in their original quest for promotion last season I am delighted to see Danny getting the reward for his hard work and perhaps his style of football is better suited in the Second Division than it was in the Third.
    Last Wednesday’s match at Arbroath was bizarre as we dominated for much of the game, played well, created chances and worked hard to ensure that the opposition didn’t manage to create any real chances in open play, yet we only managed to take a point. The journey home in the bus was miserable with the same downbeat feeling after a defeat! Having now had the chance to reflect on the game there were a number of positives to be taken – Gary Carroll played really well in the middle of the park and passed the ball extremely well. Brian Carrigan and Iain Russell linked well and brought the midfield into the game – it was good to see Iain finally score a goal for us and Brown Ferguson scored his goal and was involved in most attacking moves throughout the game. It was a disappointing night for Scott Walker, but he has been excellent for us this season and I know he will be desperately keen to get onto the next game and put that disappointment behind him. If we can play like that on a consistent basis and defend as we have in most games this season then I believe that should keep us in contention at the top end of the league. On Saturday I was delighted with the victory at Methil over East Fife, we had a lot of chances in the game, even before we scored, delighted for Gary Carroll who has been great in last two games, it was ironic that the goal came from a goalkeeping mistake, and great to see Iain Russell getting his reward with his second goal in two games, Brian Carrigan and Iain Russell linked well and my only disappointment is that they have not managed more games together since Iain came on loan from Greenock Morton, due to injuries. We thoroughly deserved our win and could have won even more emphatically. Lets hope we can take this form into tonights Scottish Cup replay against league leaders Cowdenbeath. Scottish Cup Ties are always special occasions and I have very fond memories of my first match in charge at Alloa when we played superbly well to defeat SPL opposition at the time (Livingston), which gave the players the confidence and platform to rescue their season and avoid relegation from an almost impossible position. Tonight may well be a springboard for the rest of the season for the winners and I hope that we can take the opportunity to make sure it’s St Mirren v Alloa in the fourth round.

    I hope you all enjoy today’s game.

    Allan Maitland

    Managers Corner