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    Allan Maitland Previews Stenhousemuir game 

    Friday, March 19, 2010 3:28:08 AM

    Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the “Recs” for what should be a highly entertaining game between two sides who have been going well recently. I am particularly pleased to see how well Stenhousemuir have played since we played them in January. After the match John Coughlin and Matt Kerr were obviously disappointed to have lost the game and were concerned with the number of injuries they had going into the game with Dunfermline - the replayed game after losing 7 – 1 initially. As it turned out his players were excellent, drawing 1 – 1 before losing in extra time and that was the catalyst for an 8 game unbeaten run. I watched them at Stirling Albion a couple of weeks ago when they drew 1 each and they were the better side. They had so many chances to score a killer goal but with a mixture of last gasp defending and choosing the wrong options they failed to do so – it wasn’t through any lack of effort and John must be delighted with the way his team have applied themselves.
    Since our last home match against Clyde, we have had to deal with three very difficult away matches at Dumbarton, Stirling and Cowdenbeath and have had very mixed results. At Dumbarton we were second best for an hour, possibly due to four players being stuck in a car on the M8 for an hour and a half, but regardless we were certainly way below the standards that the players have set themselves this season. When we haven’t played well this year we have usually been able to dig out a result by being stubborn and hard to beat but with a couple of major decisions going against us we were unable to manage that. On Saturday at Stirling the reverse happened when the attitude and determination of the players was first class and we benefited with a penalty decision that could have gone against us. People will say that decisions even themselves out over the season and I believe that to be the case – with so much scrutiny on referees and assistants they are an easy target for Managers, fans and the media but like everyone else they are trying to do a job and should be allowed to do it without interference – they won’t always get it right but neither do we! Our win was secured with goals from David Gormley and Bryan Prunty and I was delighted to see David produce the form that I know he is capable of after an indifferent performance on Tuesday night at Dumbarton. He has been very patient waiting for his opportunity and at Stirling and Cowdenbeath he was excellent and played a huge part in our results.
    The victory at Stirling set us up nicely for a top of the table clash at Cowdenbeath. I knew the game would be tight and it was important that despite having so many players missing, we were able to stand up to the high energy game that they play. With very little between the sides, Brown Ferguson managed to give us the lead early in the second half after good interchange between Bryan Prunty. Cowdenbeath then put us under pressure by putting the ball into the box at every opportunity and I felt we handled that well despite a couple of scares. We were, in my opinion, controlling much of the game and appeared quite comfortable when David Crawford made an uncharacteristic mistake that gave them an equaliser – it’s impossible to be critical when Davie has been outstanding this season. Andy Scott was irate with the linesman’s decision to give them the throw in that led to the goal and made his feelings clear in a manner that led to his red card. While I completely condemn Andy’s reaction (he has been fined for his red card) I want my players to have a passion and desire to win and Andy has shown that all season.
    Finally I want to thank everyone who made the trips to these games and I hope we can give you a victory today to reward you for your magnificent support.

    Allan Maitland

    Managers Corner