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    Allan Maitland previews Arbroath game 

    Friday, January 29, 2010 4:19:24 AM

    Our first home match of 2010 brings Arbroath FC to the “Recs” and I’d like to offer a warm first footing welcome to Jim Weir, Kevin McGowne, the players, directors and supporters of Arbroath who have made the journey down. I watched Arbroath draw at Stenhousemuir a couple of weeks ago when Steven Hislop scored a late equaliser to win a deserved point in a tough match with few chances and was impressed with how well organised and disciplined Arbroath were throughout the game. Their team has changed a lot since we last played with Barry Sellars, Paul Watson and Jamie Bishop all leaving to go to Forfar while David Winters, Euan Moyes, Kevin Moffat and Kenny McLean have all come in. Jim obviously feels the need to change the team to try and freshen things up to avoid a relegation fight and will know that a couple of wins will change the confidence and mood of the club (as we have found out already this season). I noticed that David Winters scored last week in his debut against Peterhead and believe that he will be a great signing – a very clever player who should excel in the Second Division. From the reports I’ve read I understand that Arbroath were unfortunate with Euan Moyes being sent off when the sides were level, Peterhead scoring the subsequent penalty and then running out comfortable winners.
    Our game at Stenhousemuir last Saturday finally provided us with our first points against them this season with Brown Ferguson and Bryan Prunty scoring in a first half that we dominated. The game strangely petered out in the second half when they went down to 10 men. We missed an opportunity to press home our advantage in the second half but overall I was pleased that we kept a clean sheet and delighted with the result, especially with Stirling and Cowdenbeath losing points. The league has become very tight between the top three but I believe that Peterhead, Dumbarton and Brechin will all still believe that they can still win it and it should be a very competitive second half of the season. With the games being cancelled over Christmas and New Year the strength of the squads will be vital going forward and with this in mind I am very pleased to have brought Bryan Prunty and David Gormley to add to our striking options. Both excelled with Ayr United last season and I expect that experience to help us with our own ambitions. Bryan has been able to play a couple of bounce games with us prior to the game last Saturday but David only signed on Friday, which has left him short of match fitness but that should come back to him quickly. Scott Walker played with both of them last year and helped to persuade them that Alloa was the best option available to them.
    I have also brought young James Bloom in on loan from Falkirk for an initial period of a month and hope that he gives us the balance the team has been lacking and that we can give him the experience of first team games that he needs to develop his career. After a period of getting used to the pace of the game last Saturday I thought he played really well in his debut and managed to get forward and supply crosses into the box.
    It’s important to get off and running with a good start after the enforced break and to complete that we need to look to win our home games starting today. I expect a really difficult match and we may need to show high levels of patience and concentration to achieve our first victory this season against Arbroath – I hope we can provide you with the result all Alloa fans are looking for.

    Allan Maitland

    Managers Corner