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    Allan Maitland previews Brechin City game 

    Saturday, December 12, 2009 4:47:00 AM

    We wish to offer a warm welcome to Jim Duffy, Kevin McAllister, the players, directors and supporters of Brechin City who like us managed to secure their place in the next round of the Scottish Cup after winning their replay against Wick on Tuesday night. We have an excellent relationship with Brechin who always make us very welcome when we visit and I hope we return the favour today.
    With so many injuries to our attacking players, our victory on Tuesday night against Cowdenbeath was remarkable and came after a fantastic effort by our players. We had played so well at Arbroath and East Fife but knew that we had to completely change our formation and style of game if we hoped to succeed against a very good Cowdenbeath side. The players adapted well and managed to remain patient and disciplined despite having to work really hard to restrict Cowdenbeath to few chances. When games are that close you need a bit of good fortune and we were lucky when Scott McBride watched his free kick hit the inside of the post and come out when it looked destined to give them the lead. We took full advantage and scored the winner with only two minutes left when Mark Gilhaney showed great composure to finish when his first effort was blocked. With Andy Scott and Mark Gilhaney both carrying injuries going into the game I wanted to manage their time on the pitch to try and not make their injuries any worse and hopefully we’ve managed that but Mark scoring the goal was an added bonus and just the boost he needed after the disappointment of his injury over the last 4 weeks. We now have a great tie at St Mirren to look forward to next month and want to try and maintain our league challenge in the 4 games before that.
    Our game against Brechin City earlier in the season, when we lost 2 -1 after a last minute goal, showed that there’s not much between the two teams and I expect both of us to be in the top four at the end of the season. Brechin have an excellent defence and goalkeeper (despite losing 6 goals against Wick over the two games)and Mark Docherty and Kevin Byers are certainly capable of creating chances for Rory McAllister and Charlie King. I’d like to congratulate Charlie on reaching his testimonial year at Brechin - he has been a superb player who appears to get better each season.
    Today will be Iain Russell’s last match before he returns to Morton and he has shown his quality over the last two games with great performances and scoring a couple of goals. He has been frustrated by his injury and lack of games but has fitted in really well with our players and I hope he leaves us full of confidence and succeeds at Morton in the remaining months of the season.
    Today is our last home game before Christmas and gives me an opportunity to wish all Alloa fans a Merry Xmas and also to ask our players to enjoy their night out tonight but please come back with your reputations unblemished.
    Allan Maitland
     



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